Wed. Jun 26th, 2019

The Fantasy Fanalysts

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Dawson Knox: 2 Star Fantasy Football Prospect with Big Upside

4 min read

Welcome to the 48 Report, a full working database including 48 of our favorite 2019 Draft Prospects. The key, however, is that we focus specifically on their ability to translate as fantasy football players. All players in the database have been/will be scored by 3 writers, and this is their article; explaining their aggregate score, as well as the score of their writer.

All categories are scored on a 1-5 scale; with 5 being the highest score a prospect can receive. The highest aggregate average scores a player can receive is 25. Articles will be posted January-April, all the way up to the draft. Ratings will be adjusted after the combine, based on measurables and after the draft, because as we all know: landing spot matters.

Dawson Knox (6’4”, 258) Tight End, Ole Miss

11 Aggregate Score (2 Star Prospect)

Dawson Knox was a walk-on at Ole Miss in 2015, at the quarterback position.  This influences his game significantly. His strengths and weaknesses become more accentuated and it helps to explain how he got to where he is as a prospect. Where is that? Knox is an athlete who understands the game of football well, but is still very much adjusting to a position that asks a lot more of him physically.  The physical tools combined with a strong understanding of defenses could create a high ceiling for Knox. I stand alone as the rater who is dragging the overall score up for Knox and my hope rests entirely on his ceiling and potential.

College Production

Knox was… not productive at Ole Miss to put it politely. After red-shirting his freshman season, Knox played special teams in his second year (2016) which was Evan Engrams final season. Over his final two seasons at Ole Miss he recorded 39 receptions for 605 yards and no scores. While this production borders on putrid for a day two prospect over 17 games, there are many reasons that help to explain the lack of production.  

Knox was dealing with an offense that was less than stellar for how loaded with talent they were (QB Jordan Ta’amu had three receivers not even including Knox who will likely be drafted in the first three rounds in April) and being pretty far down the pecking order in that offense almost eliminates the concern for his numbers.

His numbers will be far less important than the numbers he puts up at the combine.  That is where Knox can, and I believe he will, cement his day two draft stock.

Speed & Acceleration: Aggregate Score: 3 (Personal Score: 4)

Our raters may have been watching different games of Knox with scores ranging from a 2 to my 4 in the speed and acceleration category.  While Knox isn’t Evan Engram in terms of being a fast downfield threat, he does possess the necessary speed to find space in the middle of the field and terrorize up the seam.  The combine will shed far more light on this area, but I am comfortable with the game speed he shows.

Route Running: Aggregate Score: 2 (Personal Score: 3)

Route running is not a strength for Knox currently.  I see flashes of technique, quickness in his breaks and an ability to read his defender and react to create space.  With how crowded the passing game was at Ole Miss, he was limited in his route tree and that will need to be remedied at the next level.  The building blocks are there and I am comfortable projecting a little bit here where my colleagues are not.

Blocking: Aggregate Score: 2 (Personal Score: 2)

Blocking is a weakness for Knox currently which is not a good sign for his chances at early playing time.  He looks to be a willing blocker though he hasn’t quite figured it out yet. I don’t foresee a blocking role for Knox at the next level and he won’t be drafted for that, however, the strength and technique need to improve.

Handwork and Positioning: Aggregate Score: 1.6 (Personal Score: 3)

Receiving two 1’s in a category is never good.  That is what happened here. I see what they see in that he has not shown a propensity for coming down with contested catches.  This is a concern especially for his fantasy potential as a lack of red zone usage tanks any tight end’s value. However, I see strong hands at the catch point and an ability to set up defenders where he wants as his route develops which will serve him well with his size.

Athleticism: Aggregate Score: 2.6 (Personal Score: 4)

I am convinced the athleticism that my partners don’t see on tape will show up at the combine and will continue to be apparent when Knox is released as a move tight end.  His size and body control are both high level. The speed, quickness and leaping ability should all be pluses post combine.

Conclusion: Early 3rd Round Target

Landing spot will determine a lot of things for Dawson Knox but I know he will be a given an opportunity wherever he is drafted.  In a deep draft, he does blend in with a lot of other talent in this range, but the positional scarcity gives tight end a bump for me in the later rounds of rookie drafts.  Knox is currently my rookie TE4. The three guys ahead of him are all more complete tight ends with much less work to do, but his ceiling is as high as all but Noah Fant and that makes him well worth taking at the top of the 3rd.

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