Remember back in March where everyone and their mother wanted the Bills to trade for Zach Ertz? Or when people like myself were calling for the Bills to sign guys like Dan Arnold or draft Kyle Pitts? Thank goodness we are not the General Manager of the Buffalo Bills and that Brandon Beane is.
The emergence of Dawson Knox has been truly remarkable as a raw player who struggled with the fundamentals of the position. Overcoming inconsistent blocking and drops, he has become one of the best at his position in 2021. That right, I said it. Knox is one of the best Tight Ends in football, and I mean it. I’ll show you the numbers to back this claim up because, to me, it’s clear. Dawson Knox is a top 5 Tight End in the NFL.
Looking at Knox’s numbers, it’s hard to argue against this claim. Currently, Knox has 18 receptions for 261 yards and five touchdowns. Through five games, this is impressive, sure. However, here is some context on these numbers and how they stack against all the other Tight Ends in football.
Knox’s 18 receptions rank 12th among the other Tight Ends in football. This places Knox over guys like Jared Cook of the Los Angles Chargers. His 261 receiving yards place him 6th ahead of players like T.J. Hockenson and Mike Gesicki. His five touchdowns are the best in the NFL at Tight End, ahead of guys like Travis Kelce and Rob Gronkowski (just a couple of first-ballot Hall of Famers). Knox’s five touchdowns currently are tied for the second-most receiving touchdown in the NFL. He is tied with the likes of DK Metcalf and Ja’Marr Chase.
To push this even further, ESPN has a current projection for what Knox’s final state line would look like if he keeps this production up. It’s eye-opening. ESPN projects that Knox will finish with 58 receptions for 835 yards and sixteen touchdowns. SIXTEEN TOUCHDOWNS. These are all-pro-like numbers coming from a player who many were ready to give up on.
Now, I do have to be honest. Yes, I wasn’t the biggest Dawson Knox critic, but I certainly was not the biggest believer in him either. Yet, once again, the Bills have shown that they can take freakish athletes with traits and turn them into top-notch NFL players. Knox’s start to the season has been outstanding as the Bills have never had a great Tight End in team history. Just for context, here are the Bills franchise records from Tight Ends.
Only three Tight Ends in team history have over 2,000 career yards receiving. They are Metzelaars, Jay Riemersma, and Scott Chandler. Metzelaars leads the way with 2,921 career yards and 25 touchdowns. As you can see, Tight End has been a real weak spot for the Bills for as long as the team has existed. However, this has changed.
Knox is looking like he will be a huge weapon for the Bills, not just in 2021 but for a long time after this season. His athletic abilities and traits were never in question, but now his football IQ, technique, and catching have finally caught up. Ladies and gentlemen, we now have ourselves a playmaking Tight End who is a real threat to defenses. And it feels so damn good to say that.