Jan 24, 2013; Honolulu, HI, USA; Cincinnati Bengals receiver Jermaine Gresham (84) at AFC practice for the 2013 Pro Bowl at Hickam air force base. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

ICYMI: NFL Draft: Look back at Jermaine Gresham & 2010 Tight End Class

August 16, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham (84) spins past Atlanta Falcons defensive back Thomas DeCoud (28) in the first half at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports


When it was time for the 2010 NFL draft to begin, the Cincinnati Bengals had one clear need, and that was to find a tight end that could help a middle-of-the-road offense take the next step and become elite. There were many talented TEs that could have helped do such, including Arizona’s Rob Gronkowski, Florida’s Aaron Hernandez, BYU’s Dennis Pitta, Miami’s Jimmy Graham, Iowa’s Tony Moeaki and Oklahoma’s Jermaine Gresham.

The Bengals ultimately went with Gresham, a former All-American who had missed the entire 2009 college football season due to knee injury suffered in preseason practice. This didn’t stop Cincinnati from taking him in the first-round, making him the first TE taken that year.

But up to this point, he’s been regarded as the fourth or even fifth-best TE to come out of that class, as he’s been outperformed by a pair of New England Patriots in Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.

The Baltimore Ravens also landed Dennis Pita, who last year caught 61 balls for 669 yards and 7 TDs, compared to Gresham’s 64 catches for 737 yards and 5 TDs.

But perhaps the best TE to be drafted that year was Jimmy Graham, who had just one year of collegiate experience at TE after playing basketball for the Miami Hurricanes.

All of that being said, here are the career statistics from the top TEs drafted in 2010:

Tight end Drafted overall Career Receptions Yards TDs
Jimmy Graham 95th 215 2,648 25
Rob Gronkowski 42nd 187 2,663 38
Aaron Hernandez 113th 175 1,956 18
Jermaine Gresham 21st 172 1,804 15
Dennis Pitta 114th 102 1,075 10
Ed Dickson 70th 86 905 6


Again. Gresham has been “at-best” the #4 TE in a class which he was projected to be the #1 in. Last season, Gresham also graded out as the worst NFL TE (-16.4) yet received the 6th-most snaps of any Bengals player (offense or defense).

But with Gronkowski’s recent injuries, and Hernandez looking like his career may be over as he faces murder charges, the Bengals may have not missed as badly as it appeared just a few weeks ago.


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Tags: Cincinnati Bengals Jermaine Gresham NFL Draft NFL Offseason

  • Hal Bent

    Nice write up, Jason. Glad you included the PFF stats at the end, as its easy to look at the raw numbers for Gresham and think he’s been anything but an anchor to this offense. Gronk even at 8 games in the Patriots offense will outperform Gresham just for his impact on the offense each game he steps on the field…look at last year, he missed 6 games and had almost as many TDs as Gresham has in his career. Jimmy Graham is a beast as well in NO, and Pitta is a rising player in the Ravens offense with Bolden gone…no way to spin it, it was still a bad pick. Look at AHern as if he had a career ending injury: any team is going to take his production over 3 years at that spot of the draft…it’s just good value. Add in the salary paid to Gresham (guaranteed $$$ for 1st round pick paid out to him versus the 2nd etc rounds) and the pick seems even worse today. With Eifert in house, the Bengals need to focus on clearing Gresham’s contract from the rolls, as he’s eating space for two more years, not rolling him out on the field to the detriment of QB Andy Dalton.