In what promises to be a very competitive AFC North division, any little advantage that you can have over the competition could be the difference between winning and losing games and, ultimately, making or missing the playoffs. Having a leg up at something as simple as the tight end position could really make a big difference for a team such as the Cleveland Browns in 2023.
While our own Randy Gurzi ranked the division's tight end units as a whole here, we will take a deeper dive into the individual players that stack up as the best at the position in the division. There are some savvy veterans, some solid up-and-comers, and some young, talented wildcards that could crack the list of the top 5 tight ends in the AFC North. Do multiple Cleveland Browns make the cut?
1. Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens
We will start at the top of the list, as there is little intrigue as to who will rank No. 1. Five-year Baltimore Ravens veteran Mark Andrews has proven early and often in his career that he belongs at or near the top of any NFL tight end list. As pretty much the only consistent and reliable target for MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson, Andrews is about as irreplaceable as they come for the Ravens.
In 2022, some may say Andrews had an "off" year, totaling 73 receptions for 847 yards and just five touchdowns. That's the lowest touchdown total since his rookie season and the second-lowest yardage total since his first pro season, but it's still heads and shoulders above all the other tight ends in the division.
He still managed over 100 yards more than the next-best tight end in the division, and still held onto the touchdown lead, while hauling in significantly more balls on a ton more targets. According to Pro Football Focus, Andrews ranked as the third-best tight end in the NFL in 2022, ranking in the top five of both Receiving (79.4) and Run Blocking (70.1) grades of tight ends playing at least 85 snaps.
There's no question that Andrews is the best and most reliable tight end in the division and will still be the focal point of the Baltimore passing attack, even with the additions of former Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and rookie Zay Flowers.