Bills GM Brandon Beane thinks first-rounder Dalton Kincaid will ‘pair well’ with Dawson Knox as tight end duo
Even though they didn’t pick until almost the end of Round 1, the Bills got their man in the end.
Trading with Jacksonville to move up two spots to No. 25 and select tight end Dalton Kincaid, Buffalo nabbed the top TE in the draft and added another weapon for QB Josh Allen.
The Bills were originally set to pick just after the Cowboys at 26th, but with Dallas also in the market for a tight end after the free agency departure of Dalton Schultz, Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane said they realized the situation was too good to pass up.
“If Dalton was not there, we would have traded back,” Beane said, via the team website. “We had a good feeling that Dallas would take him, and we just really liked him and just felt he would be a great fit in our offense.”
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Kincaid was one of the top TEs in this year’s draft class, even despite a back injury that ended his 2022 season early and limited his draft workouts. A former walk-on at the University of San Diego before transferring to Utah in 2020, he ended his five seasons with 175 receptions for 2,623 yards and 35 TDs. He also recorded career-highs in catches (70), receiving yards (890) and touchdowns (8) in 2022, setting him up nicely to be the first tight end off the board.
While Buffalo is clearly excited about having another offensive weapon at its disposal, Kincaid’s selection did draw questions about how his addition would affect the playing time of current Bills TE Dawson Knox, who has operated as a consistent No. 1 at the position for the last four years.
When asked about the anticipated target distribution, Beane was crystal clear that Knox is still very much part of the plan, and the idea is to have two TEs with different skillsets that can complement each other.
“Dawson’s still gonna be very involved,” he said, via si.com. “Dawson is a clearly better in-line blocker, still a receiving threat. I don’t think Dawson’s gonna be going anywhere.”
Kincaid’s appeal lies more in his abilities as a pass-catcher, and his versatility and athleticism mean he can line up different ways and run routes like a smaller receiver. Having that flexibility at tight end to go back and forth between Kincaid and Knox will only allow the offense to put out more varied looks with one or both of them on the field.
“(Kincaid)’s a tight end, but he’s a receiving tight end,” Beane said. “We think he’ll pair well with Dawson and give us another target. … He’s not your standard Y tight end, he’s gonna be flexed out more than necessarily you would do with Dawson.”
For his part, Kincaid is embracing the chance to learn from his new teammate, who he considers to be one of the best in the league.
“Knox is just right up there with the tight ends as well, so it’s going to be awesome to just learn from him and learn from Josh (Allen),” Kincaid said, via the team website. “I think just joining the Bills Mafia is going to be one of the coolest things. They’re such an established fanbase and they’re very well-known.”
And it looks like it’s a mutual feeling of excitement for this pairing’s potential. As the news of Kincaid’s selection broke Thursday night, Knox took to Twitter to post a gif saying “This is where the fun begins.”
👀 @_DaltonKincaid pic.twitter.com/eXvEd1eSsj
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