Chargers atop the tight end heap; Cowboys, Browns close behind

How good is the Chargers' offense? LaDainian Tomlinson gives San Diego the best running back unit in the league, but the team also boasts the best collection of tight ends in the NFL. Plenty of other talented units are out there, though, and those of Dallas and Cleveland are not far behind. Here's how Scouts Inc. ranks the top 10 tight end groups in the league.

1. San Diego Chargers
Antonio Gates is still the most explosive overall tight end in the league, though his numbers were down somewhat in 2007 because of injury. He still found the end zone nine times last year, though, and he makes it extremely tough for opposing defensive coordinators to match up against him in the passing game. And though Gates isn't a powerful inline blocker, his athleticism enables him to gain leverage quickly and maintain body position to ward off defenders. The combination of reserve tight ends Brandon Manumaleuna and Legedu Naanee gives offensive coordinator Clarence Shelmon and head coach Norv Turner the flexibility of attacking defenses from a variety of formations. Manumaleuna is a powerful blocker used primarily in the running game, though he at times can contribute to the passing game. Naanee is an undersized, athletic target who can line up effectively in several different areas of the field.