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

David Njoku and Jordan Akins are a great duo but is it enough for the Cleveland Browns to boast the top tight end unit in the AFC North?

Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers
Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages
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The tight end position is one of the most difficult — and often overlooked — positions in the NFL but the Cleveland Browns understand the importance it brings. That's why they gave David Njoku a four-year, $54.75 million extension ahead of the 2022 season yet still signed Jordan Akins this offseason to be a formidable No. 2 option behind him.

Throw in fourth-year pro Harrison Bryant and Cleveland can go three-deep at the position. But is that enough for them to claim the No. 1 tight end corps in the AFC North? Let's check out the rest of the division to find out.

4. Cincinnati Bengals

Top Players: Irv Smith, Drew Sample

Back in 2019, the Minnesota Vikings selected Irv Smith, Jr. out of Alabama in the second round of the NFL Draft. Smith was paired with Kyle Rudolph and had 36 receptions for 311 yards and two touchdowns. His play-caller at the time was Kevin Stefanski, who will now be a rival of his since Smith signed with the Cincinnati Bengals this offseason.

Since showing that promise as a rookie, Smith has yet to truly break out. Injuries have been a problem for him as he's played in just eight games the past two years and in 2022, he averaged a mere 7.3 yards per reception.

He joins the Bengals looking to bounce back and should be the starter. Their other primary option is Drew Sample who had two catches for negative two yards last year. It's not the best group, so Cincy comes in last in the division.