NAME: Dawson Knox
SCHOOL: Ole Miss
POSITION: Tight End
JERSEY: No. 9
RECRUITMENT RATING: Walk-on
WT: 250 lbs
PROS: Size, length and athleticism is rare at the position. Strong hands to go outside his frame and reel in tough catches. Made some nice adjustments to off-target throws over the middle of the field. Body control and concentration through the catch point is impressive.
Former quarterback, that knowledge shows in his ability to improvise routes against zone coverages over the middle, giving his quarterback a bigger window. Excellent hip snap to break off routes sharply, creating separation. Worked a lot from the slot, showing good burst into his route to threaten vertically, and the body control and athleticism to alter directions quickly, manipulating defenders. Has the speed to threaten the seam.
As a walk-on quarterback in 2015, blocking is still very new to him. However flashes of dominance suggest what he could be, especially as a move blocker in the run game. Has the size and strength to even handle defensive ends at time. Lined up all over Ole Miss’ offense (in-line, wing, slot) and should continue to see a bevy of assignments that will help prepare him for the NFL.
CONS: As a blocker, still very much a work in progress. Asked to do a ton as a blocker right away in 2017, despite the fact that he had yet to play in a college football game at tight end (redshirt in 2015, six special teams games in 2016). Struggled in pass protection when asked to handle defensive ends, often over-extending to initiate contact. Needs to sink his hips and drop anchor more against blitzing linebackers.
In the run game, you can tell he’s not fully confident executing assignments and locating his target. Needs to address his opponent with more tenacity, sometimes hangs back and waits for them to make a move, destroying his running back’s timing. Learning proper fit and hand placement is going to take some time. Will fall off blocks at times due to not bringing his lower half to the fight. Would like to see much more consistency as a finisher.
Wasn’t put in a lot of them, but needs to do more in high-point, contested catch situations. Didn’t always elevate and pluck, despite his size and leaping ability. Runs hard, but pretty much a non-factor after the catch. Lacks creativity or elusiveness as a runner. Fast for a tight end, but not a 4.5s guy. Reps vs press coverage are minimal.