Andrews is coming off a career-best season in which he broke franchise records and hauled in 107 catches for 1,361 yards and nine touchdowns, hopefully the first 1,000-plus yard receiving season of many more to come.
He was ranked after Philadelphia Eagles’ Dallas Goedert and Atlanta Falcons’ Kyle Pitts as the sixth-best tight end prior to the 2021 season, but it’s safe to say he proved his doubters wrong.
Except for one. Las Vegas Raiders’ Darren Waller named his top tight ends on the “All Things Covered” podcast and had Andrews lower than Pitts yet again at fifth overall.
What’s up with that?
Ravens’ Mark Andrews deserves a spot on everyone’s top-3 tight end list in 2022
We can give Waller a pass for naming himself as the best tight end in the league, though anybody who’s been watching football in the last five years knows that’s just his ego talking.
Kansas City Chiefs’ Travis Kelce and San Francisco 49ers’ George Kittle deserve their high rankings as two of the most dominant tight ends in recent history, and their respective resumes speak for themselves.
But Kyle Pitts at fourth overall? The Falcons tight end enjoyed an incredible rookie campaign in 2021 with 68 catches for 1,026 yards, getting his career off to a great start.
To say Pitts already surpasses Andrews in overall talent and production, however, is blasphemous.
Andrews has two Pro Bowls and one All-Pro nomination to Pitts’ single Pro Bowl, impacts the offense with both his pass-catching ability and blocking ability, and has remained a consistent top-performer for the Ravens ever since he was drafted in 2018.
Last season, Andrews had to compete with Marquise Brown and Rashod Bateman for targets and still finished first in team receiving yards; Pitts, too, finished first in receiving yards for Atlanta, but he had arguably less competition in Russell Gage and Cordarrelle Patterson.
Pitts made an enormous splash in the NFL with a much more impressive rookie year than that of Andrews, but all-time great careers aren’t built in a day.
Over time, Pitts may reach the elite standard of tight ends set by Kelce, Kittle, and Andrews, but he’s still got a ways to go. Our money’s on Mark Andrews over Pitts, any day.