Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room showcases two examples of strong run blocking from 2019 NFL Draft prospect TE Dawson Knox of Ole Miss.
Ninety-nine percent of the places you’ll go to learn about Dawson Knox will focus on his freakish athletic ability while showcasing the Ole Miss tight end as a receiver. It’s what the fantasy football playing public wants to know.
It’s not what they need to know. And if you know anything about my start as a football writer, then you realize that I’m looking out for those of you in the hobby when I deliver this analysis.
How well a tight end runs, jumps, and catches determines how productive he can be for fantasy football ONLY if he’s on the field. The only NFL tight end in recent years to get away with being a non-blocker and remain on the field enough to deliver fantasy production has been Jimmy Graham (and to an extent, David Njoku)
Blocking may not count in the box score, but it’s the most important facet of play that will give a tight end the necessary snaps to earn meaningful targets. Rob Gronkowski and George Kittle are excellent blockers. Travis Kelce and Eric Ebron are competent at the line of scrimmage.
If you’re seeking a top receiver at the position, the easiest path is to seek the best all-around talents. Knox is one of the best all-around talents at his position in this class. Used often as an H-Back or the middle receiver in trips formations, Knox is a patient blocker who takes good angles to his assignment and delivers with technique, leverage, and strength.
The two blocks below showcase the range of his talents in the run game.
If I’m the Arizona Cardinals staff, Knox would be on my radar. David Johnson is at his best as a gap-style runner and Knox’s skill to pull and or lead block would give Arizona flexibility with its run and pass game — especially with Knox’s speed to stretch the seam, which could factor mightily when he works up the middle as a lead blocker on play-action looks and sneaks past a linebacker.
Knox’s patience, skill with angles, and athletic ability also make him a compelling option on zone plays where he either work to the nearest defender or wind back to the opposite end. If Seattle isn’t as high on Nick Vannett, Knox could provide a potential upgrade or an additional weapon at the position for its ground game that is a mix of inside zone and gap.
Pay attention to the things Knox does above because they’re essential skills that will help you look at other tight ends and determine if their work in the run game will make them potential fantasy options.
For the most in-depth analysis of offensive skill players available (QB, RB, WR, and TE), get the 2019 Rookie Scouting Portfolio. If you’re a fantasy owner the Post-Draft Add-on comes with the 2012 – 2018 RSPs at no additional charge.
Best, yet, 10 percent of every sale is donated to Darkness to Light to combat sexual abuse. You can purchase past editions of the Rookie Scouting Portfolio for just $9.95 each. You can pre-order the 2019 RSP now (available for download April 1).