By Tim Graham
The third-best receiver on your team usually doesn't rate among the division's elite, but when you're from one of the NFL's most prolific passing offenses, it's more than plausible. After all, Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus might be the fourth-best defensive lineman on his team, and he ranked No. 23 on this list.
New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was third on his team behind the NFL's leading receiver (Wes Welker) and the NFL's touchdown king (Rob Gronkowski). Hernandez missed two games but caught 79 passes for 910 yards and seven touchdowns. He would have led the New York Jets and the Bills in receptions and finished two catches behind Miami Dolphins leader Brandon Marshall.
The only tight ends with more touchdowns than Hernandez last year were Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham and Jermichael Finley. With Gronkowski hobbled in the Super Bowl, Hernandez had eight receptions for 67 yards and a touchdown.
ProFootballFocus.com charted Hernandez for 503 yards after catches, sixth among all wide receivers and tight ends, second to Gronkowski among tight ends and 184 yards more than the next closest AFC East tight end, Dustin Keller.
PFF also had him down for 23 tackles missed or broken, most among all NFL receivers and tight ends.
In his final four regular-season games, Hernandez had 25 catches for 387 yards (15.5-yard average) and two touchdowns and five rushing attempts for 45 yards.
Selected in the fourth round (113th overall) of the 2010 draft.
Hint about No. 21
He had a breakout season in 2010, but was plagued by injuries last season.
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