Tight end hasn’t exactly been a position of strength over the years for the Bills. In fact, it’s arguably one of the weakest position groups in franchise history. Aside from a few stalwarts (such as Ernie Warlick and Pete Metzelaars), the pickings at tight end have generally been slim.
The Bills do have some reason for hope, however, at tight end heading into 2020. And his name is Dawson Knox.
Knox wasn’t expected to be an immediate staple on offense as a rookie in 2019. A third-round pick out of Ole Miss, Knox was considered a promising but developing prospect at the position. He was both a quarterback and a wide receiver in high school before switching to fullback and then tight end at Ole Miss. He had only 39 career receptions in college before declaring for the draft as a junior.
Knox had impressive moments in his first spring as a Bill while also dealing with drops. He missed nearly all of his first training camp due to a hamstring injury. But the Bills had little choice but to turn to him once the regular season came around due to an injury setback to Tyler Kroft, who was initially projected to be the team’s starter at tight end.
Inconsistency remained an issue for Knox, particularly when it came to catching the ball. But there were enough moments of brilliance to offer plenty of hope for the future, and a reminder of just how high his ceiling might be.
The clear standout moment came in Week 3 against the Cincinnati Bengals. With around four minutes remaining, Knox did his best Rob Gronkowski impression by catching a pass near midfield, stiff-arming safety Shawn Williams to the ground and then leveling Jessie Bates III with a huge hit before being taken down at the Bengals 22. It was the biggest play of the game and set up Frank Gore’s game-winning touchdown.
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