The tight end room up in the Buffalo Bills’ organization is pretty full heading into the 2020 season. The front office brought in Lee Smith and Tyler Kroft during free agency last season, then traded up in the third round last year to grab Dawson Knox. Not to mention, Jason Croom still has a spot on the team.
Kroft and Smith are heading into their final year or two on their contracts and Croom should get one more shot with the Bills, with him getting a one-year extension in March. Knox will head into his sophomore year looking to secure the starting tight end position in Buffalo. After a decent start to his career which showed flashes of high potential, Knox looks to be the favorite to win the starting tight end job for the start of the season.
In 15 games last season, Knox was targeted 50 times and reeled in 28 catches for 388 yards and two touchdowns. While his highlights show him bulldozing through defenders, it also shows the ten drops he had which is a problem that must be corrected. The biggest factor that helps Knox stay on the field his blocking ability. Clearly he is not Rob Gronkowski, but with his versatility to both play receiver and fill in as a blocker makes him a special addition to the offense.
With all of the moves that the Bills have made this offseason on the offense, how will Knox be able to boost the unit himself in both the passing and running game?
Run Game Support
The Bills acquired a 1-2 punch combo when they drafted Zack Moss this year to go with Devin Singletary. The way I see it, Singletary should expect to get a majority of the carries. Although, his scoring production could decrease if the Bills get into the redzone and Moss trucks his way into the end zone.
The offense upgraded in their vertical offense, but pounding the rock will be the major key to move the ball. Knox should be seen getting to the second level to create space for a big run no matter who is running the ball. Brian Daboll likes to run zone stretches to the outside so Know will have an important job to open up the gap to move the chains.
Passing Game: Security Blanket?
Adding Stefon Diggs brings a new dynamic to the passing game in Buffalo. The team has a true number on receiver that is arguably a top ten receiver in the league. Not only is Diggs the right receiver for the Bills, but now it pushes John Brown to the outside as the number two option and Cole Beasley into the slot.
Josh Allen is still a work in progress but has shown off the strength to launch the ball down the field. It will take some time before Allen really starts getting the ball down the field accurately so Knox may have a valuable factor in the beginning of the season. Allen is not always going to be able to get to his two guys on the outside, so Knox could have an impact as a security blanket for Allen.
On third down plays, Knox could be targeted the most to pick up a fresh set of downs. His ten drops from last season is a big red flag that needs to be adjusted, but Allen has shown to keep his trust in the weapons down the field. Knox may not be the number one or number two guy, but do not be surprised if Knox has the most targets towards his way in a game.