The Buffalo Bills have plenty of areas they need to address this season and in his end of the season press conference, general manager Brandon Beane talked about the need for better tight end play.
Second-year tight end Dawson Knox has shown signs of having a future, at times, but the 24-year-old from Ole Miss has been inconsistent as well during his time in Buffalo. The Bills are hoping to revamp the position this offseason or bring in a tight end that could help Knox improve over the next few years.
Pro Football Focus believes that former Tennessee Titans tight end Jonnu Smith could be that guy.
In a recent article from PFF’s Seth Galina, he listed the perfect free-agent matches for all 32 NFL teams and he believes Smith is just that for the Bills.
Smith will be 26 entering the 2021 season and with wide receivers Stefon Diggs, John Brown, and Cole Beasley still in the mix, Smith would be another dangerous option for quarterback Josh Allen and one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL last season.
The Bills did not get a lot of production from their tight ends in the passing game last season, so bringing in Smith would complete what would be a marvelous receiving corps. The rising fifth-year tight end is a capable blocker, but his usefulness truly comes when the ball is in his hands. Among tight ends with at least 25 targets over the past three seasons, Smith is fourth in yards after the catch per reception at 7.1.
As a second or third threat, this is the type of player you want; someone who can play a limited role yet still create extra yards when his number is called.
This past season for Tennessee, Smith had a career year and set new career highs for yards (448), receptions (41), and touchdowns (8). He also caught five passes for 40 yards and two touchdowns against the Bills in Week 5 of this past season.
Along with giving Allen another target, bringing in Smith would give Allen another safety blanket underneath, a role Beasley primarily played this season.
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The Bills Are Also Connected to Zach Ertz
Smith isn’t the only tight end the Bills have been connected to either. In recent weeks, Pro Football Focus also suggested that the Bills should trade for Philadelphia Eagles tight end and former Super Bowl champion Zach Ertz.
In an article by PFF that described 10 NFL trades that make sense this offseason, the football analytics website suggested that the Bills should trade a 2021 sixth-round draft pick for the three-time Pro Bowler.
Ertz is coming off one of the worst statistical years of his career and he only caught 36 passes for 335 yards and one touchdown. But, he also missed five games after being placed on the injured reserve.
Dawson Knox Has Shown Potential At Times
No one knows how the situation will pan out, but Knox has shown potential at times through the first two years of his career.
As a rookie, he caught 28 passes on 50 targets for 388 yards and two touchdowns. This past season he caught three touchdowns and 24 passes for 288 yards while only playing in 12 games.
Knox could be in consideration for a long-term role at the tight end position, but as Beane mentioned, they need to see better production from the position.
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