A story in the Buffalo News recently suggested third-round tight end Dawson Knox could be a year one starter for the Bills. If that happens, he'll have a chance of joining the relative small group of tight ends that have made a significant impact in their rookie seasons.

Knox probably wasn't expected to start right away; Buffalo signed Tyler Kroft away from Cincinnati in free agency. But Kroft broke his foot in offseason workouts, which is giving Knox a chance to contribute. So just maybe he'll keep it going into the regular season.

Since 2000, there have been five rookie tight ends who finished as top-10 players at their position: Jeremy Shockey, Rob Gronkowski, Evan Engram, John Carlson and Randy McMichael. This in a standard scoring system. Twenty-six others have made it into the top 25. Essentially three every two years. Two rookies made it last year, Mark Andrews and Dallas Goedert.

2002Jeremy Shockey, NYG748942101.43
2010Rob Gronkowski, N.E.4254610114.65
2017Evan Engram, NYG647226108.25
2008John Carlson, Sea.55627592.77
2002Randy McMichael, Mia.39485472.59
2016Hunter Henry, S.D.36478895.811
2005Heath Miller, Pitt.39459681.911
2010Aaron Hernandez, N.E.45563692.313
2008Dustin Keller, NYJ48535371.514
2004Chris Cooley, Wash.37314667.414
2006Owen Daniels, Hou.34352565.214
2001Eric Johnson, S.F.40362356.215
2018Mark Andrews, Balt.34552373.216
2017O.J. Howard, T.B.26432679.216
2007Zach Miller, Oak.44444362.416
2001Alge Crumpler, 25330351.018
2003Antonio Gates, S.D.24389250.919
2018Dallas Goedert, Phil.33334437.420
2013Zach Ertz, Phil.36469470.920
2010Jermaine Gresham, Cin.52471473.121
2017George Kittle, S.F.43515263.521
2017David Njoku, Clev.32386462.722
2000Bubba Franks, G.B.34363142.322
2012Dwayne Allen, Ind.45521370.123
2013Jordan Reed, Wash.45499367.923
2010Jimmy Graham, N.O.31356565.623
2006Vernon Davis, S.F.20265344.523
2003Jason Witten, Dall.35347140.723
2008Martellus Bennett, Dall.20283452.324
2015Will Tye, NYG42464364.425
2003Dallas Clark, Ind.29340140.025

Knox is pretty raw, with just two seasons of production at Mississippi, including only 39 receptions (and no touchdowns). But opportunity counts for a lot, and the Bills might not have a better option in what should be a young and developing offense. He belongs on the radar of late-round tight ends who could possibly make an impact this season.

--Andy Richardson