Readying to begin his 13th NFL season, Titans tight-end Delanie Walker is more confident and feels better than ever.
The three-time Pro Bowler led the Titans in catches (74) and receiving yards (807) in 2017, and was again one of the league's best at his position.
That hasn't always been the case though. The 33-year-old spent his first seven seasons in the league with the 49ers, where he failed to crack 500 receiving yards even once and sat behind Vernon Davis for the duration of his tenure in San Francisco.
The move to Tennessee in 2013 reignited his career, and he's made all three of his Pro Bowl appearances since turning 30.
He's been a regular fixture on the Top 100 players list since 2015 and has set multiple franchise positional records. The former sixth round pick is a rare late bloomer in the NFL and he's not shy of letting the entire league know that he thinks he's the best in the business.
"Honestly, I feel like I'm the best tight end in the league in all phases," Walker said, via the Tennessean. "Blocking, run blocking, catching the ball, breaking tackles, stuff like that. At the end of the day, if you don't feel like that you shouldn't be in the league."
Whilst some notable names like Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce would certainly disagree with the Titans star on his standing amongst TE's in the league, there's no doubting that he's in the conversation.
The soon-to-be 34-year-old is in a contract year and will have to prove that he can continue to produce as father time wears on him, but theres no reason to suggest that he won't make a fourth successive Pro Bowl appearance come January.
As aforementioned, he led his team in catches and yards last season and will likely be Marcus Mariota's primary target in 2018 once again. On top of that, Walker is one of the top blocking tight-ends in all of football, which has aided Tennessee in having one of the league's top rushing attacks over the past three years.
With 2017 third-rounder pick Jonnu Smith bearing down on him, Walker will have even more motivation to ball out this season and he certainly won't be giving game time away without a fight.
“Every year I try something new,” Walker said, explaining his longevity. “I don’t eat pork, I don’t drink alcohol. That’s been helping me, keeping me fit and in shape. Just go out here and I try to bust my butt every day in the weight room, on the field, and it’s tended to work so I’m going to stick to that regimen.”
"...At the end of the day, until I feel like someone can take my spot, I’m going to keep playing. I feel like I can play for four years. As long as I still feel that way and I’m moving as fast as I am on the field, and making plays, I’m not going to stop.”
Expect another big year from the self proclaimed best tight end in the NFL.News Now - Sport News