AFC North tight end units ranked from worst to best in 2023

Where do the AFC North teams rank with their big-bodied pass-catchers?
Cincinnati Bengals Offseason Workout
Cincinnati Bengals Offseason Workout / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
3 of 4

2. Cleveland Browns

It was a toss-up for the number two and three spots, but ultimately I took the Bengals' in-state rivals higher than the Steelers simply for the fact that they have more experience in total and, in my opinion, have stronger depth than Pittsburgh.

David Njoku headlines this tight end unit, a veteran who is heading into Year 7 coming off another productive year where he put up 600+ yards and found the end zone four times. He was even more reliable than Freiermuth was this past season, catching 72.4% of passes thrown to him. While I'd still take Freiermuth over Njoku, again the depth for Cleveland gives them the edge.

Behind the seventh-year vet is Jordan Akins, who had some decent years on some mostly terrible Texans teams, putting together easily his best season this prior one with 495 yards and five touchdowns. Akins is a very good depth piece for the Browns and someone they could fall back on without too much worry if Njoku were to get injured.

Then there's Harrison Bryant, who has been consistently putting up 200-yard seasons as a backup, and Zaire Mitchell-Paden, who has yet to play an NFL snap.

Bryant is not a bad option at all to have as TE3 considering he's given decent production in a backup role, while Mitchell-Paden has not been given the opportunity to show what he brings to the table, if anything.