Round 3, Pick 96: Dawson Knox
Full disclosure before you start reading this section, I am a huge Dawson Knox fan but I can’t ignore the game tape or his numbers.
Now that this has been established, Knox dropped a lot of balls last season but he has potential.
Coming out of Ole Miss, the Brentwood, Tenn., native had a better sophomore season than junior season as he only recorded 605 yards in 28 career games. This though would not fear off the Bills as they selected Knox with their second third-round pick.
With the selection of Knox, Buffalo had addressed their need for a tight end but did so later in the draft than many thought. Passing on Hockenson and Fant and waiting till the third round still landed the Bills a quality tight end but one that would need some work. Luckily for Knox, he would be acquainted with Tyler Kroft and Lee Smith who both eventually slid down the depth chart in favor of the rookie.
When given his chance to run routes, this is when Knox’s flaws began to surface as he was not the most reliable ball-catcher on the field. With 28 receptions on 50 targets (56%) in 2019 for only 338 yards, Knox struggled to be the playmaker that the Bills needed. Though he did have his highlights, such as the stiff-arm play against the Cincinnati Bengals which earned him the nickname “Rambo”, these were few and far between.
In addition to his faults in the open field, Knox had difficulty in pass protection which is not necessarily his fault and more on Brian Daboll as he lined Knox often with the oppositions’ best edge rusher. This was evident against the Baltimore Ravens as Knox struggled to fend off Pro Bowler Matt Judon which resulted in a Josh Allen sack.
With some addressing of his catching and pass-blocking in his second year, the Bills could be seeing the heir to the tight end throne.