John Mackey, who was the prototype tight end, will only be the second tight end to go into the Hall of Fame (Mike Ditka was the first) when he's inducted Saturday in Canton, Ohio.
There may not be many more making it because full-time tight ends are rapidly becoming obsolete. Teams simply can't find players who can block on running downs and still go deep for passes, so the tight ends now tend to get pulled on passing downs for wide receivers.
Even Mackey, as good as he was, wasn't noted for his pass-catching skills. In the first half of the Colts' Super Bowl III upset loss to the New York Jets, he dropped two passes, including a third-down throw that would have given the Colts a RTC first down on the Jets' 15.
His problems as a pass catcher delayed Mackey's induction into the Hall of Fame, although he still merited induction because of his all-around skills.