Atlanta Firebirds

Cole Hikutini – 6aa

Tyler Higbee – 7aa

Nick O’Leary – 7a

Entering his second season, former first round draft pick Tyler Higbee has to step up and take over this unit. He had 26 catches for 240 yards and two touchdowns, not great for a starting tight end. But Nick O’Leary makes things interesting too because his numbers were almost identical. He is a less heralded veteran, but might be fighting with Higbee for the starting job. Cole Hikutini needs to polish his game but has some potential.

Birmingham Predators

RaShaun Allen – 6

Allen has been around football for quite a while now, but hasn’t really done anything with it.

Carolina Generals

Seth DeValve – 7aa

LaQuan McGowen – 6a

Zach Miller – 10f$

Zach Miller had a real bad medical scare this offseason, but pulled through and is in fine health heading into the 2018 season. Miller is the best tight end in the league and was the big reason why the Generals made it to the the championship game last season as he caught 93 passes for 1,279 yards and seven touchdowns. Seth DeValve s a very talented second-year guy who should be in line for an even bigger role

Charleston Dragons

Malcolm Johnson – 6aa

Nick Kasa – 6a

Robert Tonyan – 6a

Jason Vander Laan – 6aa

Desperate for pass catcher, the Dragons likely won’t be finding one at tight end. Nick Kasa hasn’t been in the league since 2015, when he was a completely bust for the New York Marauders. Malcolm Johnson has potential but only caught nine passes last season. Former college quarterback Jason Vander Laan is entering his second season as a tight end and has shown promise, but is still getting used to the position. Robert Tonyan has a solid D-League season, but still has a lot of work to do.

Columbus Explorers

Gary Barnidge – 8.dc

Daniel Brown – 7aa

Tyrone Swoopes – 6aa

“Big Play” Barnidge probably won’t be spouting off too many big plays now at 32-years-old, but a veteran tight end is never a bad thing to have for a team. Veteran NFL guys typically do well in SFL at this position, but he is definitely near the end of his career. So while he is a short-term fix for the position, they need Daniel Brown to step up, which he has done so far in camp. Tyrone Swoopes is a gifted athlete who is converting from quarterback, which he played at Texas, to tight end. He might take a year to come through.

Dallas Six-Shooters

Jacob Hollister – 6aa

Cole Wick – 6aa

Somebody will have a chance to step up between Cole Wick and Jacob Hollister. Wick is entering his second season after being a third round pick in 2016. He did not do much as a rookie, which led to the first round pick this year of Jacob Hollister. Hollister was a very productive receiving tight end at Wyoming, though he was probably over-drafted in the first round.

Houston Wranglers

Jace Amaro – 7ac

Joshua Perkins – 6aa

Niles Paul – 10$

Niles Paul had a disappointing 2017 season, failing to catch a touchdown or go over 500 yards, but his troubles more could be linked to his team’s struggles than his own. Paul still was perfect catching the ball last season, never having a drop. He also averaged 11.2 yards per catch, which is quite good for a tight end. He’s still one of the best in the league and hopefully 2018 will be more kind to him. Jace Amaro was brought in after a quickly failed NFL career. The former second round pick was always thought to be a future star, but never got out of the gate. At least he is still young with time to turn things around in his home state. Joshua Perkins is a developing second-year player who did not do much as a rookie.

Iowa Threshers

Jason Croom – 6aa

Gavin Escobar – 7aa

George Kittle – 7aa

At 27-years-old it is likely that Gavin Escobar just his what he is, but in a bigger role than he’s had before in the SFL, he could be headed for much improved numbers than he’s ever had before. George Kittle and Jason Croom are a pair of rookie behind him. Kittle is a big, physical receiver while Croom is a gifted athlete who led Hartford in receiving during the D-League.

Los Angeles Stars

Ben Braunecker – 6aa

Ladarius Green – 7aci

Cooper Helfet – 7c

Jordan Leggett – 6aa

While Tim White was relatively disappointing, his departure still leaves an opening that has to be filled. Cooper Helfet was the No. 2 tight end for the stars last season and was just another player out there, catching short over the middle passes that did not do much to impact the offense. He hasn’t looked any better that just another guy out their in camp either. Ladarius Green, though, is an interesting player. He has always oozed with potential, but always struggled to beat out even an older Antonio Gates. Then when he left the Chargers he got hurt. He looks healthy now, though that injury is something to monitor. At 27-years-old it might be his time to get things going. Ben Braunecker is a second-year guy with some promise, but didn’t do too much as a rookie. Jordan Leggett is a second round pick this year out of Clemson who is a nice-sized athlete but does need some seasoning.

Louisville Cougars

Rico Gathers – 6aa

Jeff Heuerman – 7a

Cameron Morrah – 7d

Given the right opportunity, Jeff Heuerman could be a really good receiving tight end with above average blocking ability. His 13.2 yards per catch last season stand out. He should be more of a focus for them. Cameron Morrah shouldn’t challenge him either. He could be a good second tight end, but Rico Gathers is a very gifted athlete and former basketball player who now with a year under his belt playing tight end could be due for some more playing time.

Memphis Bombers

Scott Chandler – 7d

The 32-year-old Scott Chandler is nearing the end of his career and probably shouldn’t be the only option for a team at the position. He signed midway through last season with the then Renegades and only averaged 8.0 yards per catch. He will catch some passes, but probably won’t do much with them, and he has never been a good blocker.

Michigan Stags

Blake Bell – 9a

Jake Butt – 7aa

After two really strong years to start out his career, Blake Bell has officially ascended into the upper echelon of tight ends in the league. Bell had 50 catches for 724 yards and two touchdowns last season. He could be an even bigger weapon for them this year. The Stags also have a really good No. 2 tight end now too in Michigan’s Jake Butt. An unfortunate injury cost him a shot to be a 1st round NFL draft pick, but he is ahead of schedule on recovering from his ACL surgery and could be ready for the start of the season. They will have to be patient with him, though.

Minnesota Freeze

Thomas Duarte – 6aa

Jake McGee – 6a

Thomas Duarte hasn’t worked out fell at all so far, but at least he is still young, but the Freeze need to start seeing more out of their 2016 first round draft pick. Jake McGee is just a depth guy.

Mississippi Cottonmouths

Henry Kreiger-Coble – 6aa

Casey Pierce – 6a

Henry Krieger-Coble got way more attention than he deserved this offseason but cashed in the popularity for a nice new contract. Mississippi out-bid the rest for him, but he better start developing quick to earn that. He has some potential, but he only had two catches last season. Casey Pierce has only four catches for Michigan last season before becoming an expansion draft pick.

New Orleans Nightmare

AC Leonard – 6a

Kellen Winslow – 7d

New Orleans hasn’t invested much in tight end in a long time. Kellen Winslow II is an investment in a veteran who has a nice history in the league, but it’s a history. He’s old, far, far past his prime and actually didn’t even contribute last season at all. AC Leonard has had his chances to do something, but hasn’t yet. He can also play defensive end.

New York Marauders

Jerell Adams – 6aa

Eric Saubert – 6aa

Will Tye – 8aaf

New York has very good depth at tight end, but Will Tye has developed into a very nice pass catcher now in his third year. Expectations might have been a little too high for him last year, but that hasn’t derailed him. He’s coming off a successful 43-catch, 536-yards, 3-touchdown sophomore season and should be headed for even better numbers in 2018. Jerell Adams and Eric Saubert are both good prospects as receiving tight ends. Adams made very nice progress and might be able to start for some teams in the league and should at least force some extra double tight end sets. Saubert is still very raw, but a guy who can go vertical down the middle of the field. They don’t have a good blocking tight end, but they have some weapons that will be tough to match up with.

Omaha Express

Cethan Carter – 6aaf

Hayden Plinke – 6aa

Beau Sandland – 6a

Omaha didn’t get really any production out of the tight end position last season. They might not get anything out of them this year either but they have some guys with some potential. Cethan Carter is a well-regarded territorial draft pick out of Nebraska. Hayden Plinke had tremendous success in the D-League, catching 99 passes for 1,177 yards and 10 touchdowns. Beau Sandland is a second-year guy who didn’t see the field as a rookie and hasn’t done much in the training camp either.

Orlando Rockets

Nick Boyle – 7ac

Blake Jarwin – 6aa

Kenny Johnston – 6aa

Luke Willson – 8

Luke Willson is far from a game-changing tight end, but he is a very solid and consistent guy. That is fine for the Rockets because they have a deep wide receiver class, but when throwing across the middle or in the redzone, the Rockets can have confidence in Wilson. Nick Boyle is entering his third season and has plenty of potential, but need to start living up to it. Blake Jarwin and Kenny Johnston are developmental rookies. Jarwin is a big, physical guy while Johnston is more suited to be a slit out receiver, a role he performed quite well in, in the D-League.

Philadelphia Bulldogs

Romond Deloatch 6af

Bucky Hodges – 6aa

Ryan O’Malley 6aaf

Tim Wright – 8di

After three so-so years in Los Angeles Tim Wright is still looking for his breakout season. At this point it does not seem like he will have it, but he is a good chain-moving tight end. He’ll catch passes, but coming off a year where he averaged only 7.4 yards per catch, the world should not be expected from him. Bucky Hodges performed well in the D-League and has carried that momentum into training camp where he has definitely jumped Ryan O’Malley on the depth chart. But simply by being a second round draft pick that should have been foreseen. Romond Deloatch can play both tight end and defensive end, but won’t excel at either.

Pittsburgh Forge

Rob Housler – 8

Michael Roberts – 6aa

Rob Housler performed admirably and above some expectations as he joined the Pittsburgh Forge last season. The Forge have a ton of weapons but he provided them with a consistent chain-mover. Unfortunately Michael Robertson isn’t ready to fill in for the production lost by Tony Moeaki, but he should still get a decent amount of targets purely on volume.

San Antonio Marshalls

James O’Shaughnessy – 8aa

Jeremy Sprinkle – 6aa

The departure of Dion Sims to to the NFL is a big loss for San Antonio. He was their leader in receptions last season, but the cupboard is not bare as James O’Shaughnessy is ready to take over. He had a very strong camp and has been solid for the Marshalls for a while. He is just entering his prime and could be poised for a nice breakout season. Jeremy Sprinkle is a talented second round pick who should be able to catch quite a few passes as a rookie.

San Diego Diablos

Scott Orndoff – 6aa

Mychal Rivera – 9c$

Mychal Rivera had a down 2017 campaign, failing to live up to his hefty contract in Philadelphia, but San Diego wasn’t going to just ignore his great history in the league. The Diablos need weapons and Rivera has been a very good one over the years. He could be a bit of a risk, but he had a good camp and could still potentially lead all tight ends in receiving this year, even if it is by volume. Scott Orndoff was a good college tight end working out of a pro-style offense. He had a strong D-League campaign too, and parlayed that into a good training camp. He may force his way into the offense as a rookie.

Seattle Orcas

Stephen Anderson – 6aa

Antony Auclair – 6a

Darrell Daniels – 6aaf

Brandon Pettigrew – 8.d

Brandon Pettigrew led the Omaha Express in receptions this past season and has turned that into a new contract with the Seattle Orcas. Pettigrew is nearing the end of his career, but could still put up some alright performances as a check-down option. Seattle will be focused on developing one of the younger guys behind him. Stephen Anderson enters his second season after being a second round draft pick while Antony Auclair and Darrell Daniels are both rookies looking for opportunities. Auclair didn’t go as much as the team had hopes in the D-League but his 17.3 yards per catch does open some eyes for a tight end. Stephen Anderson is a second-year tight end who barely saw the field as a rookie but has good athleticism for the position. He’s more of a tweener. Darrell Daniels is a physical freak out of Washington, but his performance hasn’t quite live up to the measurables.

St. Louis Stallions

Sean Culkin – 6aa

MyCole Pruitt – 6aa

Mason Schreck – 6aa

St. Louis doesn’t have much at wide receiver and it does not look like they will have much help coming from their tight ends either. MyCole Pruitt is the only one with any experience, but it isn’t much. He has barely played in his career. Sean Culkin and Mason Schreck are rookies. Culkin was one of the top weapons on the Evansville River Otters, and is leading the team right now in camp.

Utah Raptors

Devon Cajuste – 6aa

Jesse James – 9aa

Tony Moeaki – 7d

Jesse James took a huge step forward in his career after he was traded to the franchise from Nashville. James led the then-Scorpions with 84 catches in 2017 to go with 842 yards and five touchdowns. He’s looks great in camp as well and looks to be nearing elite status at the position. He’ll be a big threat for the Raptors in the passing game again. But desiring another decent pass catcher at the position the Raptors brought in Tony Moeaki. He had very respectable numbers in Pittsburgh, catching 43 passes for 476 yards and six touchdowns. At this point in his career that might be tough for him to repeat anything close to those numbers, but he can still snag some catches and move the chains. Devon Cajuste is a gifted athlete but is coming along slower than desired.

Washington Wave

David Morgan II – 6aa

Bear Pascoe – 7d

Andrew Quarless – 7a

Oumar Toure – 6aa

Keith Towbridge – 6aa

Andrew Quarless did fill the tight end void like the Wave would have hoped. He’s back for another shot at it, though, but they brought in another veteran Bear Pascoe, to help challenge for the job. Pascoe has some great preseason efforts last year, but did not get many opportunities during the regular season. However, he is generally a better blocker than receiver. Oumar Toure and Keith Towbridge are promising rookies but Towbridge did disappoint in the D-League while Toure performed quite well and appears to be ahead right now. David Morgan is a second year guy who did not do much as a rookie, or too much in camp to show he’s significantly improved.

SFL Top 5 QBs

1. Zach Miller, Carolina Generals

As great as Erik Meyer was for the Generals last season, Zach Miller was the biggest reason why they made it to the Grand Finale. Miller is the best around and proved it last year with his 93 catches, 1,279 yards and 7 touchdowns, numbers that far exceeded anything produced by any tight end.

2. Niles Paul, Houston Wranglers

His numbers were down last year, but Niles Paul is still a really good tight end. The problem was the entire team and the offense, but his ability hasn’t diminished. He can easily bounce back.

3. Jesse James, Utah Raptors

Year two was a big one for Jesse James. With a new team, James broke out, leading the Raptors with 84 receptions — 24 more than anybody else on the team. He’s just entering his prime and is only getting better.

4. Blake Bell, Michigan Stags

It’s been two really good years for The Bell Cow. He’s a big, athletic and very reliable and consistent pass catcher for the Stags and should continue being a priority in their offense.

5. Mychal Rivera, San Diego Diablos

Mychal Rivera had a down season in 2017, but his talent is still there and he could see his numbers rebound in San Diego as the top target in town.

By The Numbers
Total QBs: 70
10 Rating: 2 (2.9%)
9 Rating: 3 (4.3%)
8 Rating: 7 (10.0%)
7 Rating: 18 (25.7%)
6 Rating: 40 (57.1%)