Commentary

Versatile tight ends drastically impact rankings

TE Dallas Clark gives the Colts the edge over every other receiving corps, according to Scouts Inc.

Originally Published: January 1, 2009
By Tag Ribary | Scouts Inc.

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Despite having three receivers with over 1,000 yards receiving, the Cardinals slip to the No. 2 spot in the Scouts Inc. ranking of playoff teams' receiver units because of their limited production from the tight end. Indy grabs the top spot because of its experience and the versatility of TE Dallas Clark.

The Colts' wide receivers are known for their consistent production, but more and more it's their versatility that is causing problems. Reggie Wayne is as solid as they come, but now that Anthony Gonzalez is proving to be effective in the slot as well as out wide, it gives offensive coordinator Tom Moore the ability to adapt quickly when Marvin Harrison is unable to play. Clark is similarly versatile and a reliable target for Peyton Manning, which is why we have them as the top-rated group.

The Cardinals have one of the best wide receiver corps in the league. With Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and rookie Steve Breaston providing consistent production all year, this threesome can cause a lot of matchup problems for most defenses in the league. Injuries have limited the Cardinals' overall production from the TE position this year, but the strength of the WRs keep this group elevated. Attempting to stop all three from producing each week has been a nightmare for defensive coordinators.

The Chargers have a solid starting WR tandem with Chris Chambers and Vincent Jackson. Chambers is an experienced veteran who brings good speed and quickness on the outside. Jackson is a big athletic receiver who uses his height advantage extremely well against smaller DBs. TE Antonio Gates is as reliable as any TE in the game today, giving the Chargers all kinds of flexibility in the passing game. San Diego also has quality depth, with Malcom Floyd being another big target for QB Philip Rivers.

Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.

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