Realistic expectations for Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox in 2022

Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills, Desmond King, Houston Texans (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills, Desmond King, Houston Texans (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Buffalo Bills drafted Dawson Knox in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft and after two years where he showed flashes, everything came together this past season. He would establish himself as the top tight end in this offense and a reliable option for Josh Allen.

Knox finished the year with 49 receptions, 587 receiving yards, and nine touchdowns in only 15 games after missing two games due to a broken hand. One of the reasons for the improvement was that Dawson Knox cut down on his drops after he had 10 and a drop rate of 20% as a rookie, he had only four drops and a drop rate of 5.6%.

What are realistic expectations for Dawson Knox in 2022 with the Buffalo Bills?

Last year was a significant improvement over the prior years for Dawson Knox to the point where he nearly doubled his career-high in receptions and receiving yards. He also was tied for the league lead in touchdowns among tight ends with New England Patriots tight end Hunter Henry.

This season is potentially a big year for Dawson Knox as he is entering the final year of his rookie contract and will be playing for a new deal next offseason if he doesn’t sign an extension this summer.

However, it is unlikely that Knox will match the totals that he did in 2021 but this is not due to Knox regressing or taking a step backward. The reason is that the Bills have many more playmakers in this offense, so targets should be spread out a little more.

In 2022, the Bills with the addition of James Cook will look to dump the ball off more to their running backs. They also added O.J. Howard, who reportedly struggled in minicamp but is more of a receiving threat than Tommy Sweeney. If Howard makes the roster, he should also see some targets that could limit the opportunities for Knox.

2022 stats: 60 targets, 42 receptions, 504 receiving yards, 7 receiving touchdowns

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When looking at this upcoming season, I believe Knox will keep most of his averages (catch rate, yards per reception) but see a decrease of about one target per game. This will see his production drop slightly but he will still finish with a good season with over 40 receptions and 500 receiving yards.