10 Best NFL Free Agent Tight Ends in 2023

Larry Rupp
The 10 best NFL free agent tight ends for 2023, including Dalton Schultz and Evan Engram.
The 10 best NFL free agent tight ends for 2023, including Dalton Schultz and Evan Engram. / AP Photos/Nick Wass
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It's common knowledge that the best offenses in the NFL roster standout wide receivers and running backs. It's important to note that most of those same offenses boast amazing tight ends as well, too. It's a position that has become more and more valuable in a league that prioritzes the passing attack.

Front offices are starting to take notice and adding talent at the position through both high draft picks and major free agent contracts. Whether your team is looking for that next star or just a viable rotational option, here are the 10 best free agent tight ends available in the 2023 NFL offseason.

10 Best Free Agent Tight Ends 2023

1. Dalton Schultz, Dallas Cowboys

Any team with available cap space and a need for tight end help is going to be looking Dalton Schultz's way this season. The five-year pro has evolved into an elite-pass-catcher over the last two seasons with Dallas, tallying 1,385 yards and 13 touchdowns on 135 receptions (193 targets). His 70.1% career catch percentage showcases how reliable he has truly been.

2. Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars

It turns out all Evan Engram needed was a change in scenery to tap into what made him a first-round draft pick back in 2017. The 28-year-old signed a one-year deal with Jacksonville last offseason before posting career-best marks across the board. Engram racked up 766 yards and 4 touchdowns on 73 receptions (98 targets) in 2022. He also posted less than 6 drops for the first time since 2019.

3. Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins

Mike Gesicki had an undeniably down year in 2022, finishing with less than 700 yards for the first time since 2019. However, he was stuck in an offense that did not prioritize the tight end position and still fits the mold of a large, yet athletic pass-catcher. Combine that with the fact that he has scored 18 career touchdowns and Gesicki has upside as additional red zone option for a rebuilding or contending NFL squad.

4. Hayden Hurst, Cincinnati Bengals

Hayden Hurst wasn't considered much of an upgrade over CJ Uzomah when he signed a one-year deal with the Bengals last offseason. Of course, that was before he averaged a career-high 4.0 receptions per game and became a safety valve for quarterback Joe Burrow. Hurst has long been praised for his ability to work underneath and find the open gaps in the defense.

5. Austin Hooper, Tennessee Titans

We're past the point in the list where teams are getting a player capable of playing every down at tight end. Austin Hooper lines up as more of a veteran mentor that can still provide between 300-500 receiving yards in a season. He did average 10.8 yards per reception in 2022, though, which was his best mark since 2016. The talent is not yet gone for the 28-year-old.

6. Irv Smith Jr., Minnesota Vikings

Every free agent class has a few wild cards mixed in and that defines what Irv Smith Jr. is among these TE options. Smith has not been able to stay healthy over the last two seasons, playing in only 8 games and tallying 182 yards. It's possible the right coaching staff can help bring back the guy that tallied 5 touchdowns and averaged 12.2 yards per catch in 2020.

7. Robert Tonyan Jr., Green Bay Packers

Robert Tonyan Jr. scored an impressive 11 touchdowns in 2020, but everyone knew that kind of pace was unsustainable for the average tight end. He has come back down to earth over the last two seasons, logging 4 touchdowns in 25 games. His combination of size (6-foot-5, 237 pounds) and route-running skills still makes him a great red zone target.

8. Jordan Akins, Houston Texans

Playing on a dismal Houston Texans offense hid Jordan Akins from the national spotlight this past season. He quietly racked up 495 yards and 5 touchdowns on 37 receptions (54 targets). The five-year pro also finished with an impressive mark of 13.4 yards per reception. Akins could ball out in 2023 if put in the right offensive scheme.

9. Foster Moreau, Las Vegas Raiders

The time has come for Foster Moreau to get out from behind Darren Waller and give being a No. 1 TE a shot. Moreau has tallied 793 yards and 5 touchdowns over the last two seasons while averaging 7.2 yards after the catch per reception. He possesses great speed and cutting abilities for a man of his stature.

10. Brock Wright, Detroit Lions

Brock Wright certainly didnt waste his opportunity for increased snaps once TJ Hockenson was traded away by the Detroit Lions. The two-year pro scored 3 touchdowns over the final four weeks of the regular season and finished the year averaging 9.2 yards after the catch per reception. Adding Wright on a short-term deal is well worth a shot.

The Duel also ranked the 10 best NFL free agents for each position group:
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Quarterbacks in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Running Backs in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Wide Receivers in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Tight Ends in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Offensive Linemen in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Defensive Linemen in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Edge Rushers in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Linebackers in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Safeties in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Punters in 2023
-10 Best NFL Free Agent Kickers in 2023

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel. 

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