2019 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Dawson Knox
Position: Tight End
School: The University of Mississippi
Weight: 254 pounds
Draft Projection: Day 2
Despite his abundant athletic gifts, Knox’s film is predominantly blocking. The Rebels needed to simultaneously feed Lodge, Brown, and Metcalf. As a result, few targets existed for Knox. Therefore, he sees the majority of his snaps, clearing the path in the run game. Knox generates excellent extension and leverage versus ends. More importantly, his short, choppy steps keep the defender going backwards.
When he runs a route, Knox shows adequate quicks on the perimeter. By maneuvering under over linebackers and under safeties, he effortlessly sits down in a zone and presents an outstanding target for the quarterback.
When Ole Miss threw towards Knox, he picked the ball cleanly. While the video and film does not paint a whole picture. Knox tested well in drills and looks comfortable in securing the ball. Given his limited reps, Knox will need every available snap in camp to catch up.
In a surprise to most, Knox exhibits excellent burst and separation. The shock starts from the fact that no one expects a primary blocking tight end to streak past anyone. Yet, from the snap, Knox gets to speed in a heartbeat and will be a terror down the seam. Many linebackers may not possess the athleticism to stay with him.
If the Raiders draft Knox, they will need to pare their depth chart, due to his skill set. He blocks as well or better than anyone except Lee Smith does. Next, his hands set him at the top of the list, which should eliminate others. On top of that, his explosion only sits behind Darren Waller in this group. While not the speedster that Darren Waller is, Knox runs tight end routes with more precision and explosion. Knox, Waller, Smith, and Wilson could give the Raiders a young tight end to helm this group. In addition, as Derek Carr possibly moves with the team to Vegas, a young safety blanket at tight end will help. More importantly, Knox’s punishing blocking style should open Jon Gruden’s eyes.