The Super Bowl has not historically been a showcase for tight ends achieving the most receiving yards, but in the recent era of Travis Kelce, Rob Gronkowski and George Kittle, it could change in a big way.
Maybe even to otherworldly totals.
Kelce holds the tight end record for most receiving yards in a Super Bowl with 133, while Gronkowski posted four of the position’s top-16 performances during his illustrious career. Other tight ends who are among the most accomplished in NFL history also help fill the list of the most receiving yards in football’s biggest game.
Who are some of the tight ends posting the biggest totals? We dive into the Super Bowl record book for such performances:
Most Receiving Yards by a Tight End in a Super Bowl
1. 133 Yards – Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs (Super Bowl LV vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
It’s not surprising to see Kelce at the top of the list given he’s the NFL’s all-time leader in playoff receptions, with Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes targeting him 15 times in the loss, often as a safety valve across the middle of the field. Among tight ends, Kelce had the most receiving yards in a Super Bowl quarter (78, fourth quarter) as well as a game, and the second-most in a half (86, second half). He finished with 10 receptions.
2. 116 Yards – Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots (Super Bowl LII vs. Philadelphia Eagles)
As part of a wild slugfest over the final two quarters, Gronowski posted the most receiving yards by a tight end in a Super Bowl half – 107 after his only reception in the first half went for 9 yards. Included were 5- and 4-yard TD catches from Tom Brady in the third and fourth quarters, respectively. “Gronk” produced eight first downs, also a Super Bowl high for a tight end. He ended up with nine receptions.
T-3. 104 Yards – Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers (Super Bowl XLVII vs. Baltimore Ravens)
Colin Kaepernick seemed to want to go right to Davis, who caught a 29-yard on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter. Earlier, on the game’s first play from scrimmage, Davis was penalized for an illegal formation, negating a 20-yard catch. Still, his 17.3 yards per catch over his six receptions rank second to Oakland Raiders’ Pro Football Hall of Famer Dave Kasper (17.5) among tight ends who had three or more receptions in a Super Bowl.
T-3. 104 Yards – Dan Ross, Cincinnati Bengals (Super Bowl XVI vs. San Francisco 49ers)
Ross produced one of the more memorable Super Bowl performances by a player from the FCS level as the first tight end to reach 100 receiving yards. His 11 catches from Ken Anderson mark the high for a tight end, and they included 4- and 3-yard touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Since then, only Gronkowski has matched Ross as tight ends with multiple TD catches (Gronk did it twice).
5. 93 Yards – Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs (Super Bowl LVIII: W25-22 OT vs. San Francisco 49ers), 9 receptions
Kelce didn’t appear headed for one of the more productive Super Bowls by a tight end when he only caught a 1-yard pass in Super Bowl LVIII.
However, he delivered in the clutch after halftime, including a pair of third-down conversions in the second half and a 7-yard catch on Kansas City’s winning drive of just the second Super Bowl to advance into overtime. The Chiefs claimed a second consecutive Super Bowl win and third in a five-season span.
6. 87 Yards – Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots (Super Bowl LIII vs. Los Angeles Rams)
The imposing 6-foot-6, 268-pound target had 18- and 29-yard receptions on the fourth-quarter drive in which the Patriots scored the game’s only touchdown. He had six catches in the game overall. Also, with top-15 performances of 68 yards in Super Bowl XLIX (against Seattle) and 67 in Super Bowl LV (with Tampa Bay against Kansas City), Gronkowski leads tight ends in receptions (29), receiving yards (364) and TD catches (five) across five Super Bowl appearances.
7. 86 Yards – Dallas Clark, Indianapolis Colts (Super Bowl XLIV vs. New Orleans Saints)
Kelce and Gronkowski are the only tight ends with more receiving yards in the postseason than Clark. As Peyton Manning’s safety valve in the Super Bowl loss, Clark produced five first downs and 25 yards after the catch. He finished with seven receptions.
8. 81 Yards – Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs (Super Bowl LVII vs. Philadelphia Eagles)
Kelce caught a 19-yard TD for the Chiefs’ first points and earned family bragging rights when his team triumphed on a late field goal over the Eagles and center Jason Kelce, Travis’ older brother. Kelce, who posted six receptions, wears uniform 87 to honor Jason’s birth year.
9. 80 Yards – John Mackey, Baltimore Colts (Super Bowl V vs. Dallas Cowboys)
Two years after Baltimore fell to the New York Jets in the biggest upset in Super Bowl history, the Colts redeemed themselves, with Mackey catching a twice-tipped pass and scoring from 75 yards out, the longest reception by a tight end in Super Bowl history. In fact, the Pro Football Hall of Famer is the only tight end to have one of the 15 longest receptions in a Super Bowl.
10. 73 Yards – Joe Rose, Miami Dolphins (Super Bowl XIX vs. San Francisco 49ers)
Rose’s career statistics pale to anybody else on this list or even those close to it, but he saved his best of 10 career postseason games for the right one, with his half-dozen receptions including a 30-yarder that was longest of Dan Marino’s only Super Bowl appearance.
No Super Sunday For Gonzalez, Witten, Gates
Across 17-year careers, NFL tight end greats Jason Witten (271) and Tony Gonzalez (270) played in the most NFL regular-season games at their position, but they never appeared in the Super Bowl. Additionally, Antonio Gates, who ranked third among tight ends in career receptions through the 2023 season behind Gonzalez and Witten, also never played on Super Sunday.
Stats Perform Data Insights Editor Michael Donovan contributed research to this story. Like this? Follow us on Twitter for more.