Jimmy Graham No. 2 on Clayton's TE list

May, 18, 2012
5/18/12
2:19
PM ET
John Clayton has his list of the NFL’s top 10 tight ends and the NFC South has some pretty strong representation.

New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham is No. 2 and Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez is No. 7.

Gonzalez is getting near the end of his career, but still put up decent numbers last season with 80 catches for 875 yards and seven touchdowns. The Falcons have yet to find an heir apparent, so I think you can expect similar numbers from Gonzalez in 2012. Clayton’s list is based on the present, but I think you could make a case from the past that Gonzalez is the best tight end ever. He holds virtually every career receiving record for tight ends.

Graham’s got a long way to go to catch Gonzalez. But Graham at least has the potential to become one of the best tight ends in NFL history.

The former college basketball player has played only two seasons in the NFL. But Graham had one of the most productive seasons in NFL history last year, when he had 99 catches for 1,310 yards and 11 touchdowns. That came in Graham’s first full season as a starter, so he should continue to improve.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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