Unsurprisingly, readers still place Travis Kelce behind Rob Gronkowski

86 percent of readers polled said that Gronkowski is still the best tight end of all time.

Former Buccaneers and Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski waving to fans after a game in Atlanta. The Boston Globe

Immediately following the Super Bowl on Sunday night, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes called his teammate Travis Kelce the best tight end of all time.

That comment sparked the question: Who is the greatest ever at the position?

Former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has four Super Bowl rings, and Kelce now has two, but it’s Kelce who may have the better postseason resume.

Over the eight playoff runs that Kelce has been a part of with the Chiefs, he’s racked up a total of 133 catches, 1,548 yards and 16 touchdowns. In Gronkowski’s nine postseasons, he grabbed 98 passes for 1,389 yards and 15 touchdowns.

We wanted to know what readers thought about the debate between the two all-time greats so we asked them.


The options for the poll were Gronkowski, Kelce, and “other” where people could write in whoever they wanted. The results of the poll may not be that surprising.

Who's the best tight end of all time?
Rob Gronkowski
Travis Kelce

The vast majority of the respondents went with Gronkowski while just 14 percent chose a different tight end.

With the poll, we also asked readers why they chose who they did

The reasoning for Gronkowski being the top tight end

“4 rings unstoppable.”

  • Peter, Marshfield
    • Mike, Worcester

    “Rings and run blocking.”

    • Dre, Boston

    “Tight ends also block.”

    “Because of the overall requirements of the tight end position. Blocking and receiving.”

    • Al, Riverside. CA

    “He’s the total package.”

    • Darryl Freni, Bedford

    “Great route receiver being where he was supposed to be on timing patterns. Unparalleled red zone operator. Statistically incredible numbers and a great lineman for protection and setting holes for running backs. Quintessential tight end.”

    • JT, Northampton

    “Gronk when healthy dominated any matchup he ever had.”

    • Jt, Southie

    “Blocking, blocking and more blocking. Unselfish! Still has more TD’s.”

    “Gronk blocks really well. Kelce is a wide receiver.”

    • Barbara A Roopenian, Beverly

    “He’s just a beast.”

    • Scott, Worcester

    “Because of his fantastic work ethic and blocking abilities.”

    • Dave Crevier, Laughlin, NV

    “Gronkowski is a true tight end. He was a force both blocking and receiving. There is no comparison if you are looking at the position of tight end. Gronkowski contributed to both the running and passing game. He wasn’t just a receiver. He was in the trenches and not just running routes downfield.”

    • Sal DiDomenico, Everett

    “He made other players around him much better.”


    “Number of Super Bowl championships he won and with 2 different teams. Plus the work he did when he didn’t have the ball (for his teammates to achieve success) which isn’t a stat.”

    • Carolyn, Milton

    Why people chose Kelce

    “Records he holds.”

    The evidence for the other candidates

    The individual who chose Hall of Famer Mike Ditka, “I am unfortunately a Chicago Bears fan.”

    The Tony Gonzalez supporter, “Statistically far above all pass catching tight ends.”

    Lastly, Jay from Weymouth thought Antonio Gates deserves recognition. “The prototype of the modern TE who walked with a mediocre San Diego team his entire career so that guys like Gronk and Kelce could run.”