Camp Battle Preview: Tight Ends.

Sep 22, 2019; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox (88) catches a pass for a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at New Era Field. Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Locks: 

Dawson Knox

Tyler Kroft

The Breakdown:

The Bills may have struck mid-round gold in Dawson Knox. Fast, athletic, and strong, he is perfect for the modern NFL passing offense. His game does need refinement though for him to become a productive NFL tight end. His catch rate was one of the lowest among eligible tight ends and his blocking isn’t up to NFL standards yet. Regardless, the production from year one will make him TE 1 coming into camp. Tyler Kroft was mostly a non-factor for the Bills last year and many may see him as a bubble player. He restructured his deal in March, taking a pay cut signaling the Bills are intent on keeping the veteran tight end.

The Bubble

Lee Smith

Tommy Sweeny

The Breakdown: 

Like last week, it’s a numbers game. In McDermott’s first three seasons he’s gone with 4 tight ends twice and 3 tight ends once. Lee Smith had some hair pulling moments, but remains one of the better pure blocking tight ends in football. Tommy Sweeney played in 6 games last season and had some drops along the way. Coming out of college Sweeney projected as a tight end with good hands and as a productive blocker. Another year learning from Lee Smith would be a positive for his game long term. The Bills could keep just Smith or Sweeney, or both.

The Longshots:

Jason Croom

Nate Becker 

The Breakdown

If Jason Croom makes the roster this year, maybe I will start believing you trolls who say he is only on the roster because he is dating a Pegula. In reality, both Becker and Croom bring nothing special to the tight end room and both will come into camp at the bottom of the depth chart. Croom offers little as a blocker and Becker offers little as a pass catcher. They will need to have absolute breakout camps to make the 2020 roster. 

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