With tight ends dropping (off the board) like flies during the third round, the Buffalo Bills and general manager Brandon Beane chose that moment to strike, packaging their two fourth-round picks to move up into the third round and select Ole Miss tight end Dawson Knox with the 96th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Let’s take a look at what Buffalo can expect from their new tight end.
Originally recruited as a quarterback coming out of high school, Knox came to Ole Miss as a developmental tight end in 2015. After redshirting his freshman season, Knox was solely relegated to special teams while sitting behind Evan Engram. He saw his first real action as a sophomore in 2017, catching 24 passes for 321 yards. His statistics actually regressed during his junior season, as he had to share targets with a plethora of talent at receiver. He finished 2018 with only 15 catches for 284 yards.
Known for his smooth athleticism, Knox unfortunately did not run the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, but did so at his pro day. His best time of 4.51 seconds would have placed him second for his position, just below Denver Broncos first-round pick Noah Fant. Knox’s overall combine performance was somewhat disappointing, with his athletic profile comparable to former Miami Dolphins tight end Anthony Fasano. However, the tape shows much more of an athlete.
Knox was an ascending prospect immediately proceeding the draft. He had a fantastic pro day at Ole Miss, and teams were not scared off by his lack of production on campus. Most predictions had him coming off the board in the second or third round, so a 96th overall selection represents decent value.