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MAJBobby

My Off-Season Primer: Postion Group - TE

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I think Knox did ok for the situation he was put in but I really don’t expect him to be a top TE. He reminds me of Vance McDonald and I think if he has a career like that he has done pretty well for himself.

 

As far as Free Agency goes, I’m all for getting rid of Kroft and Lee Smith for the cap space. I am not a big fan of going after a Hooper or Henry, even the best Tight Ends of recent memory have struggled changing teams (Graham, Julius Thomas...Charles Clay lol)

 

I think we would be better off with some inexpensive free agents (Ricky Seals-Jones, Darren Fells) and keep taking lottery tickets in the draft between rounds 2 and 7. If everything checks out with Cheyenne O’Grady off the field, I’m a fan of how he plays on it 

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Posted (edited)

Sorry to be late to the party here @MAJBobby,  here are my thoughts.  With better play calling, and another TE in FA, we will have the best TE unit in the NFL and terrorize opposing D's.  This is the best position to upgrade in FA on offense that can lead to increased offensive productivity next year, IMO.  

 

1.  Knox is a TE1.  Yep, that's right, this guy is and will be a TE1.  Below are some stats of Knox compared to other TE1's rookie years:

 

Knox:  28 receptions, 388 yards.  2 TD's. 

Kyle Rudolph:  26 receptions, 249 yards, 3 TDs. 

Zach Ertz:  36 receptions, 469 yards, 4 TD's. 

George Kittle: not too far off, and what I think Knox could have done if used properly:  43 receptions, 515 yards, 2 TD. 

 

All in all, Knox rookie year projects as a TE1 if used properly (more on that below). 

 

Catch rate/drop rate, usage issues (Daboll issues):

 

Knox catch % may be offset by the fact that a lot of balls thrown his was were very difficult catches (look at some of the amazing catches he made).  Also, does that low catch % account for passes like the 2 against NE where Allen missed him wide-open in the endzone?  In terms of drops,  I don't recall him having a bad drop in the latter half of the season.  I do recall an amazing catch against a few teams.  He needs to be targeted more often.  First, repetition cuts down on mistakes and drops.  Second, a young QB like Allen, or any QB really, benefits from having and using the TE's for short routes.  Look at Brady when he was at his best, Big Ben, Jimmy G., L. Jackson, Wentz, etc. all use the TE more. 

 

Play calling has been awful for the TE position.  The Steelers, for example, are bad against TE's.  (Henry ate them up).  What do we do, throw to Knox on the first play of the game, from our 10, for a 11 yard gain where Knox pushed some defenders around.  Great start that could have gotten Knox and Allen in rhythm.  Knox is then not targeted again all game.    Blame: Daboll.  Knox is also great after the catch.  I'd like to see him get some TE screens like Balt runs, or run the ball himself.  He ran the ball once this year against Cincy for an 11 yard gain.    For all the creative "genius" that Daboll is tabbed with, I don't see it.  He can't even do a RB screen, much less realize he has a young QB and needs to get the QB and TE on the same page more often for both their benefits.  

 

 

How to make TE elite, sustain drives, score TD's not FG's. 

 

What to do: That said, why not have two great TE's.  The Eagles, Ravens, and MINN do this.    Even the Pats did this.  Short hits up the field on 1st or 2nd down for 5 yards to the TE sustain drives, eat the clock, etc.  So, go out in FA and get Hooper or Henry, who are both fantastic.  Good luck covering Hooper/Henry and Knox.  (Hooper and Henry are both 6'4"/254 lbs, while Henry is 6'5", 250 lbs.  I'd prefer Hooper or Henry over AJ.  The TE gives us a big target, and we can draft a WR.  But I'd love getting Hooper/Henry and AJ).   

 

Score 25+_ points a game: We also have the benefit of having a good catching RB in Singletary, as well as 2 good WR's, and whomever we get in FA and/or the draft.  Add another TE,  get an actual creative OC, and we should score over 25 per game next season.  On passing plays Allen will have a ton of options, and we can simplify the game for him by keeping it 2nd or 3rd and manageable with throws to Beasley, or a TE on quick routes.  What other team used a slot WR and TE's, oh, the Pats.  What team uses a 2nd year QB and a quality running game and 2 TE's: Ravens.    Knox and Hooper/Henry can also pick up large gains with their athletic ability.  

 

If we do nothing else on offense in FA, getting Hooper/Henry would have the biggest impact, IMO.  (I'm not saying we don't have more to do, I'm saying this will be the biggest bang for the buck if the TE's are used properly). 

 

 

 

 

Edited by RyanC883

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Dump Smith and Kroft. Knox and Sweeney should be 1 and 2, fill in the gaps behind them. Frankly, the main issue with the tight end group is that our offense isn't utilizing the tight ends. Another reason Daboll should see the door in the offseason. I really thought he was going to bring that sweet 2 TE offense that New England ran with Hernandez and Gronk with him to Buffalo. We even drafted Knox and Sweeney and signed Kroft. And then we completely abandoned that and put a third WR on the field 80% of the time.

 

Knox I think is one of the most underutilized players on this entire team. He can split out, he can block, hell, he could play H-Back. He loves to hit people, he's a big athletic target. I think a full NFL offseason will do wonders for him and even better if we get a real OC.

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I think Dawson Knox will be a stud. I could easily see 650-800 yards a season when he gets rolling. They’ll likely cut Kroft. Sweeney is a guy I want to see us develop. He can be a quality backup given some time. Lee Smith is someone I’d keep, he’s a veteran presence and a good blocker. Could use another 7th RD draft pick or an UDFA pick up, I guess. I like our TEs for the most part.

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2 minutes ago, Sunshower said:

I think Dawson Knox will be a stud. I could easily see 650-800 yards a season when he gets rolling. They’ll likely cut Kroft. Sweeney is a guy I want to see us develop. He can be a quality backup given some time. Lee Smith is someone I’d keep, he’s a veteran presence and a good blocker. Could use another 7th RD draft pick or an UDFA pick up, I guess. I like our TEs for the most part.

lee smith is too penalty prone. swear he lost us games.

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I like Kroft and look for him to have a good year next season.

Knox is another player who will take a step forward and so will Sweeney. Lee has to go. The negatives out weight the positives. 
IF Croom comes back from IR he can be the fourth guy. 

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On 1/7/2020 at 2:38 PM, CBD said:

My gut on what they'll do for this group is...nothing. All 4 that they currently have will come back for one more season.

This would not surprise me.  I definitely do not expect the Bills to draft a TE, and if they sign a free agent, it is not going to be a top tier guy.  I think they are hoping Knox can address the drops issue and I think they expect Sweeney to develop as a backup, making Kroft and Smith expendable.

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On 1/7/2020 at 9:46 PM, jrober38 said:

Save the money and don't sign Hooper.

 

Knox will be a top 10 tight end next year. 

 

He needs more targets. 

and a jugs machine in his swimming pool. garage, neighbors yard,  and in his front lawn at the street side mailbox for when he opens the door to get the newspaper all sleepy eyed.
I think you can sign Hooper or an equal
 

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Posted (edited)
On 1/7/2020 at 11:38 AM, CBD said:

My gut on what they'll do for this group is...nothing. All 4 that they currently have will come back for one more season.

 

I agree. they just drafted 2 guys that both got some playing time. Next season Knox will be the main guy.

I'm not averse to them getting better at TE, but I'm more concerned about WR, another O-lineman, and another RB.

On 1/7/2020 at 4:15 PM, 3rdand12 said:

 

Josh is not getting the ball to anyone consistently. or are they catching them with any more % than the TEs.

 

 

Maybe it's because the TE's are the only guys over 6 ft.?

I think that's a factor.

 

Quote

Good QBs make their Receivers look good.

 

 I think Allen has made J Brown, and Beasley look good.

 

 

 

Edited by 32ABBA

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On 1/7/2020 at 3:26 PM, ColoradoBills said:

 

I see Kroft being cut once FA starts but they may keep Lee Smith and let him go to camp.  He doesn't cost any more to cut later in the summer.

Just my gut feeling.

Agree with this. I think they love Smith as a blocker. If they sign a FA TE, then it’s most likely going to be Smith, Knox and Sweeney. 

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14 hours ago, 3rdand12 said:

and a jugs machine in his swimming pool. garage, neighbors yard,  and in his front lawn at the street side mailbox for when he opens the door to get the newspaper all sleepy eyed.
I think you can sign Hooper or an equal
 

 

It's unnecessary. 

 

Rookie tight ends usually contribute nothing. Knox will take a big step forward next year. 

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Posted (edited)

I would mention Cam Brate as a potential trade target in addition to OJ Howard. I don't think it's a given that Howard would be the tight end Tampa potentially moves this offseason. Either one would be a good acquisition for us.

Edited by DCOrange

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2 hours ago, DCOrange said:

I would mention Cam Brate as a potential trade target in addition to OJ Howard. I don't think it's a given that Howard would be the tight end Tampa potentially moves this offseason. Either one would be a good acquisition for us.


down here Howard is the one ALWAYS talked about for trades. I guess everyone with power in Tampa love a Brate that is why I left him off. But I agree either one would be nice for us. 

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1 hour ago, MAJBobby said:


down here Howard is the one ALWAYS talked about for trades. I guess everyone with power in Tampa love a Brate that is why I left him off. But I agree either one would be nice for us. 

 

Howard is the one that's often discussed because he's the sexier get as a former first round pick that's shown flashes of elite play, but for those same reasons, I think he might be the one Tampa ultimately keeps. I suspect both are available for trade; it's just a matter of which one Tampa ultimately wants to get rid of. I'd gladly take either one here.

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4 hours ago, jrober38 said:

 

It's unnecessary. 

 

Rookie tight ends usually contribute nothing. Knox will take a big step forward next year. 

 expect as much. But i think earnest work need to be put in from both Allen and his catching TEs

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If Pegs daughter has anything to say about this, we better keep Croom in the mix.

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if we could get hooper i dont know what i'd do. two tight end sets would put allen on a track to success.  

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Brycen Hopkins could be a good mid round pick.

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I think that Dawson Knox can be a TE1, but I'm not opposed to adding to this position.

 

Tyler Kroft getting injured early was bad for him, and when he came back, he didn't do much.

 

Tommy Sweeney has good potential, but is not likely a starter in this league.

 

Lee Smith is primarily a blocker, and Jason Croom is completely outclassed by this group.

 

Adding another TE via free agency would be great, the idea of having Austin Hooper on the team is tantalizing, but I doubt that the Bills are going to approach free agency that way. I think they may be content to go with who they have and address other needs.

 

Drafting a Tight End is possible, but they may wait until Day 3 to do that.

 

Knox & Sweeney are the foundation to build on. I like Kroft, but the injury issue is a big problem, and I would be fine if he was cut from the team.

Lee Smith has been frustrating with a few costly penalties this season and he doesn't add much to the offense. However, McDermott loves his team leaders, and Smith is good at that. I would not be shocked if Smith sticks around because of that.

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