The tight end position in the NFL is a crucial position. These players not only need to be able to block some of the best defensive linemen in the league, but they also need to be able to run good routes and make catches for their quarterbacks.

Tight ends earned the title "security blanket" because they are reliable for QBs when they need a first down or a key completion. Not every team has a dominant tight end, which makes them at a premium in the NFL.

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This list covers the top five tight ends coming into the 2017 season. This list might surprise a few people.

Travis Kelce

Travis Kelce was a primary receiving option for Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs last season.

Kelce's energy and humor stole the show for the season, but he made sure he handled his business on the field. Kelce had 1,125 yards last season with four touchdowns.

Kelce caught 55 first downs, helping the Chiefs stay on the field and move the ball. Travis Kelce averaged 70 yards per game and was an excellent blocker in the run game. With the injuries to Jeremy Maclin, last season Kelce needed to step up, and he did in a big way. Kelce is now the top target in Kansas City and has jumped up to being one of the best tight ends in the game.

Greg Olsen

Greg Olsen is one of the few tight ends left in the game that excels in both blocking for his running back and catching passes from his QB. Olsen caught 80 passes last year for 1,073 yards which led his team. Cam Newton had an off year, but he knew he could count on Olsen if he wanted a completed pass.

Olsen seems like he has been playing in the NFL for ages, but he is still producing at a high level. Olsen caught 54 first downs last season, making him a reliable target on third downs. Greg Olsen's size and ability to get separation from linebackers makes him a premier target for Cam Newton.

Jordan Reed

Jordan Reed was a big piece in the Redskins offense last season. Reed played through some injuries, showing toughness at a position where toughness is a very important trait to have. Reed caught 66 passes for 686 yards last season. He also grabbed six touchdowns passes last season ranking third among tight ends.

Reed is also a good blocker, helping Robert Kelley find some holes. Reed is about to hit his peak, and if he can stay healthy, he can be an even bigger problem for defenses. His speed has linebackers struggling to keep up, and his size is a matchup for corners. Jordan Reed is primed to have his breakout year, and the Redskins should be excited about that.

Kyle Rudolph

Kyle Rudolph had himself a great year for a tight last year.

It wasn't appreciated due to the Vikings epic collapse the second half of last season. Rudolph caught 50 first downs last year, being a reliable target for Sam Bradford. He caught a total of 83 passes for 840 yards. He brought in a team-high seven touchdowns.

Rudolph's size makes him a target that can't be missed, and Sam Bradford took advantage of that. With Teddy Bridgewater coming back off of injury, Kyle Rudolph is set to have a huge year. Teddy has used Rudolph in the past and planned to rely on him again in the future.

Antonio Gates

Just when people think Antonio Gates should retire, he gives us a reason why we shouldn't say that. Gates didn't have the numbers that many would expect from a tight end, but they still were good. He had seven touchdowns last year, which was tied for second among tight ends. Gates is a red zone threat every week, using his basketball background to get up and grab the ball. He also had 53 receptions and 548 yards.

Antonio Gates is going to have a big year for two reasons: Phillip Rivers is his quarterback, and because many people doubt his talent. Gates is primed for a dominant year, and you read it here first.

These tight ends are a reliable target for their QBs, which already makes them great players. Put that along with their blocking skills; they are now the complete package and a headache for defensive coordinators.

These tight ends are ready to put on a show for the 2017 season, and many are excited to see what they will produce on the field.