The Buffalo Bills added plenty of new faces to the offense, and with good reason. Last season, the team averaged a paltry 16.8 points per game, which was 30th in the league. They only averaged 174.6 yards per game passing, which was 31st in the league. Buffalo needed to infuse the offense with some talent, and they did both via free agency and the draft.
The Bills completely overhauled the tight-end position, in particular, leaving only one player from last year’s roster in the positional group for 2019. In today’s installment of our “90 players in 90 days” series, we profile one of those young tight ends—a player drafted higher than any tight end for the Bills since the team selected Kevin Everett in 2006.
Name: Dawson Knox
Height/Weight: 6’4” 254 lbs.
Age: 22 (23 on 11/14/19)
Experience/Draft: R; selected in the third round (96 overall) of the 2019 NFL Drat by the Buffalo Bills
College: Ole Miss
Acquired: Third-round draft choice
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Knox enters the first year of his rookie contract, a four-year pact that will pay him a total of $3,521,600. Of that total, $822,180 is guaranteed in the form of a signing bonus. For the 2019 season, Knox carries a salary cap hit of $700,545.
2018 Recap: Knox had an underwhelming career from a statistical standpoint, and his junior year numbers are indicative of that. He made 15 receptions for 284 yards, an average of 18.9 yards per reception. He played in nine games as a senior. For his career, Knox caught 39 passes for 605 yards in 18 games. He did not catch a touchdown in college.
Positional outlook: Knox is fighting for time at the top of Buffalo’s depth chart. Free-agent acquisition Tyler Kroft is on the PUP list thanks to a foot surgery, and 2018 holdover Jason Croom has missed time with a hamstring injury. Veteran Lee Smith is the healthiest veteran member of the corps. Fellow rookie Tommy Sweeney is also making strides at camp. The other tight ends on the roster include undrafted rookie Nate Becker, veteran Keith Towbridge (in his second stint with the Bills), and second-year man Kyle Carter.
2019 Offseason: Knox has participated in all offseason activities to date. He has not been able to practice since July 28, however, thanks to a hamstring injury of his own.
2019 Season outlook: When he was healthy, Knox was making a solid impression. He saw plenty of run with the starters, and it’s not a stretch to believe that he could open the year as Buffalo’s top tight end if he can heal quickly from his hamstring injury. However, since he’s been hurt, fellow rookie Tommy Sweeney has earned high praise, so it’s possible that the seventh-round pick could be the Lou Gehrig to Knox’s Wally Pipp in 2019. Knox will be on the roster in 2019, that much is certain. The amount of playing time he receives, though, is entirely up in the air.