Outside of a handful of guys (Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Darren Waller), the tight end position can be very overlooked across the league. All the flash is in the quarterback, running back, and wide receiver positions while some very solid and quality tight ends are shown little love in comparison.
Well, it's time to put the spotlight on it and rank the tight end units of the AFC North division, from worst to best.
4. Cincinnati Bengals
There aren't many position groups you'll find on the Bengals roster that is definitively the worst in the division, but tight end is certainly one of them. After losing the fiery and tackle-breaking Hayden Hurst in free agency to the Panthers, the Bengals' effort at replacing him has been underwhelming, the only notable addition being former Viking Irv Smith Jr.
The problem is, since coming into the league in 2019, Smith's career has been riddled with injuries-- even missing the entirety of 2021!
Worse yet, directly behind him on the depth chart is another player who has been injury prone with Drew Sample. Even if he stays healthy, Sample has struggled to make an impact as a pass-catcher and is mainly used as a blocking tight end, only having one season where he's gone over the 100-yard mark since being drafted in the second round in the 2019 NFL draft.
Behind Sample are Devin Asiasi and Tanner Hudson, who were both on the team last year as depth pieces, neither of which got many opportunities. Who knows, though? Maybe one of them is a diamond in the rough who will shine if/when they finally get thrust into a substantial amount of action.
Until then, however, it's all up in the air and as it stands, the Bengals have the worst tight end unit in the AFC North.