Route Running -Pretty standard routes. He runs crossers, seams, outs, whips and hooks. His arc release from the LOS can be too passive in giving ground and lose him valuable time and leverage vs. defenders in overhang area. Doesn't offer any deception on stems.
Hands -Did well to pluck a few balls at the sticks with a defender crashing in on him, showing good hand strength to squeeze the nose of the ball. His extension skills and catch radius are only modest, however. Rarely tested above the rim.
Versatility - Spent a lot of time flexed outside the hashes, primarily to vertical release and pull away coverage or to block on quick screens. His athletic ability suggests he can handle a pretty diverse role, but how much can you put on his plate while still developing the basics?
Contested Catch Ability -Has been featured almost exclusively in box-out reps in contested area. His frame does well to absorb a blow, but he's also only modest when extending for the football and doesn't always show needed aggressiveness to ensure a clean catch.
Run After Catch Ability -Hasn't had the chance to shine here: low volume workload and a lot of targets coming in late haven't allowed him to shake free. That said, not sure what kind of creativity he's going to have after the catch when he's taking throws in stride.
Power At POA -Natural strength is present for quality reps but too often he's caught lunging or leaning into contact and will fall off of blocks. His short area mobility allows him to leverage himself of second effort vs. softer handed defenders.
Competitive Toughness -Big, strong kid with a lot to like...he just wasn't asked to show it in the open field or after the catch. Held his own physically against powerful edge defenders across the conference at first contact. Plenty to work with. Never once let lack of targets impact his effort.
Flexibility -He's not the most fluid at the top of his stems, but it isn't due to lack of mobility or body control. Labored COD is more on account of sloppy feet than inability to drop the hips or lean his way through breaks.
Balance -Mixed results working at the line of scrimmage. Frames initially well enough but will get rocked back onto his heels or pulled onto his toes too easily by defenders. Can get bumped around trying to work up the field on linear stems in traffic.
Football Intelligence -A product of his conditions: hasn't been asked to do a whole lot of anything, so there's not a lot of polish in his game. Promising ball of clay that will need to be coached up in almost all phases of the position if he's to reach his high ceiling.
BEST TRAIT - Athleticism
WORST TRAIT - Football IQ
BEST FILM - Kentucky (2017)
WORST FILM - Alabama (2018)
RED FLAGS - None
Dawson Knox is a challenging study because he has all of the needed tools to be a great TE prospect, but his conditions at the college level were as unenviable as you'll find. Knox was a non-priority in the passing game and runs a pretty vanilla set of routes in addition to being a high variance blocker in both pass game and run game alike. Knox will require patience, he isn't a player that will step into a contributing role immediately in the NFL.