Ranking the AFC West tight ends from worst to best in 2023

The tight end is a very important part of the passing game in 2023.

Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers / Harry How/GettyImages
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3. Las Vegas Raiders

  • Austin Hooper, Michael Mayer, O.J. Howard, Jesper Howard

It is always going to be hard to replace one of the most prolific pass-catching tight ends in the sport and the Las Vegas Raiders have not replaced Darren Waller this offseason. Waller and the Raiders both needed a fresh start and while moving on is better in the long run, it doesn't make this year's room any better.

The Raiders' tight end room is filled with guys who fans will talk themselves into before the season. Austin Hooper has shown legitimate TE1 potential and at one point looked like one of the most exciting tight ends in the league. However, he never quite lived up to those expectations and is a back-end starting tight end.

Michael Mayer is an extremely intriguing player who many Chargers fans wanted the team to draft in 2023. Don't get us wrong, Mayer has what it takes to be a great NFL tight end and that day will probably come. Will it come when he is a rookie learning a new offense going against NFL defenses? Probably not.

O.J. Howard is another big-name reclamation project that Raiders fans will buy stock on only to quickly realize why he was phased out of Tom Brady's offense in Tampa Bay. If Howard is playing meaningful snaps for the Raiders it is a problem.

There is still more talent in this room than in Denver as Hooper is more proven than Dulcich and there is a slim chance Mayer is the second-best tight end in the entire division. They still fall behind the other teams, though.