How do the New York Giants view their tight end position? They are paying Rhett Ellison a relatively rich contract to be a blocking tight end, made a point of re-signing Scott Simonson. On the other hand, they have Evan Engram -- who could be one of the NFL’s premier match-up nightmares with better use.
While neither Ellison’s contract or Engram’s game might be ideal for Dave Gettleman, tight end is one of the few positions on their roster at which the Giants are solid. Could they look to use that to their advantage and develop an unpolished but promising prospect down their depth chart?
If so, they should take a long look at Dawson Knox out of Ole Miss. He has every trait a “complete” starting tight end needs, and is just waiting for some actual development.
- Solid size and frame for the position.
- Significant athletic upside.
- Able to play out of multiple positions on the offensive formation.
- Little wasted motion off the line of scrimmage.
- Shows strong hands as a receiver.
- Looks to establish inside leverage as a blocker.
- An afterthought in Ole Miss’ offense, and very underdeveloped.
- Can round off routes.
- Doesn’t run a full route tree.
- Needs to be more aggressive as a blocker.
What They’re Saying
“A high school quarterback, Knox transitioned to tight end at Ole Miss but never became a prominent component of the passing game. With that said, there have been exciting flashes as a receiver although they are few and far between. There is considerable work needed as a route runner for Knox to find succcess catching the football at the next level, not to mention so inconsistency with his hands to clean up. As a blocker, Knox is more developed and has upside both on the move and in-line. Knox is a project, but he can be a worthy one to invest in. He has the ceiling of a quality TE2 and potential starter in time but patience is required.”
- Joe Marino (The Draft Network - Scouting Report)
Does He Fit The Giants?
In a vacuum, Knox does fit the Giants’ offense. Or at least, he should be able to fit their offense eventually.
As of right now, Knox is little more than raw upside, potential without production. He was an almost complete afterthought in Mississippi’s offense, and had just 22 targets in his final season. And while Knox shows tangible athletic upside with good speed, strength, and quickness to his game, it is almost completely undeveloped. He will need to land in a situation where a team doesn’t need him to contribute right away, but can take the time to teach him how to run a full route tree, catch with consistency, and block with authority.
But while he was rarely used, Knox does at least have experience lining up all over the field, from fullback, to in-line tight end, to slot receiver and wide receiver.
In light of all of that, the Giants might be a better landing place than most. The team has Evan Engram and Rhett Ellison at the top of their depth chart, which would give them the flexibility to develop Knox without having to depend on him as a contributor early. If he reaches his full potential, the Giants could have a starting caliber tight end to make Rhett Ellison or Scott Simonson expendable for the cost of a Day 3 pick.