Ranking the NFC South tight ends

Our series of positional power rankings continues Tuesday with the tight ends.

I’ve already sent in my ballot and I’m not allowed yet to share exactly where I ranked everyone. But I can tell you I had Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez and Tampa Bay’s Kellen Winslow high on the list. In fact, I might have gone a little higher with Gonzalez than some voters if the parameters are only where the players are right now. Gonzalez is near the end of his career, but still going strong. He’s also the best tight end in history, which scored him extra points in my book. Winslow might be as good or better than Gonzalez right now, but he doesn't have the full body of work.

I didn’t put Carolina’s Jeremy Shockey or New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham on my ballot. But I’d rank Graham as the No. 3 tight end in the division and Shockey at No. 4. There’s a reason for that. The Saints cut Shockey to make room for Graham.

The arrow is clearly pointing up on Graham’s career and I’m thinking he has a chance to crack the Power Rankings after this season. Shockey’s on the downside of his career and has had some durability issues. But the Panthers went after him hard and are serious about getting the tight end involved in the passing game.

You can see how the Power Rankings for tight ends shape up Tuesday afternoon.