Ranking the SEC’s top 10 tight ends for 2013

Player Rankings:

Tight ends are becoming somewhat of a lost art, and only big-time pass catchers and athletic freaks get recognized. Truly, tight ends are a big part of the running game, and so many teams use versatile tight ends as blocking H-backs and – sometimes – full backs. Sometimes, tight ends can also slip out into the slot and become a weapon as a mismatch with a linebacker.

Here are the 10 best from 2013:

Stands alone

1. Arthur Lynch, Georgia (SR)

Arthur Lynch’s last play as a Bulldog will be remembered as the drop against Nebraska in the bowl game, but he had a wonderful career and big senior season. He led all SEC tight ends with 30 catches for 459 yards and five TDs. After the injuries UGA suffered at receiver, Lynch became increasingly more important in the passing game, and replacing his production next season will be tough. Lynch should get a shot at the next level and should be just fine.

Freshman trifecta

2. OJ Howard, Alabama (FR)
3. Hunter Henry, Arkansas (FR)
4. Evan Engram, Ole Miss (FR)

OJ Howard’s ceiling is freakishly high. Howard’s 6-6, 240-pound frame looks more like a defensive end, but his athletic ability is off the charts. He caught 14 passes for 269 yards and two TDs, and Lane Kiffin has to find more opportunities to get him the ball next season…Alex Collins gets all the love of the Arkansas’ freshmen, but Hunter Henry is going to be a great tight end. Henry finished with 28 catches for 409 yards and four TDs. He’s as good of looking young prospect as anyone in the conference, and he is the complete package…Evan Engram burst onto the scene for Ole Miss. Among all the biggest recruits the Rebels signed, Engram stood out the most early in the season. Engram missed five games due to an injury, but he caught 21 passes for 268 yards and three TDs.

Athletic Veteran

5. Malcolm Johnson, Mississippi State (JR)

Malcolm Johnson has a chance to be a really good player for MSU, and he caught the thirdmost passes on the team in 2013. Johnson caught 30 for 391 yards and two TDs, and he’s a complete and athletic tight end who can be a force.

Double trouble

6. Rory Anderson, South Carolina (JR)
7. Jerell Adams, South Carolina (SO)

South Carolina has two of the most athletic tight ends in the country, but neither were really used to their maximum ability. Rory Anderson caught 17 passes for 235 yards, while Jerell Adams caught 13 passes for 187 yards and two TDs. Both can flex out as wide receivers, and both can play more of the conventional tight end. Steve Spurrier will have several options with either Anderson or Adams next season.

Rounding it out

8. CJ Uzomah, Auburn (JR)
9. Steven Scheu, Vanderbilt (SO)
10. Brian Vogler, Alabama (JR)

CJ Uzomah should have garnered more touches in 2013, and he should have been a bigger X-factor for Gus Malzahn’s offense. He did catch 11 passes for 154 yards and three TDs, but he was widely underused as a playmaker. He’ll be a big asset in 2014…Steven Scheu had a solid season for the Commodores’ offense, but he caught just nine passes for 123 yards and one TD…Brian Vogler must improve his run blocking, and he caught eight passes for 71 yards and one TD in 2013.

Photo Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports