Bills’ Top 10 Important Players from the 2022 Season: #7 Dion Dawkins


The Buffalo Bills’ offense was near the top of all statistical categories in 2022, finishing second in both total yards per game at 397.6 and points per game at 28.4. The rushing attack racked up 100 or more yards in 16 of 18 games this year. A quick gander at advanced stats, Buffalo finished second overall in Football Outsider’s DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average). The Bills were seventh in PFF’s (Pro Football Focus) overall grade at 86.6, and the 84.1 grade in passing was good enough for third. We know most of the offensive credit goes to Josh Allen, and rightfully so, but the main one keeping his backside (figuratively and literally) clean is left tackle Dion Dawkins. “Protecting the chaos engine that is Josh Allen is not easy, and, as the trope goes, if you haven’t heard much about Dawkins on the field, that’s a good sign for an offensive lineman,” said @LowBuffa. He couldn’t be more correct in that assessment, and that is why Dawkins ranks seventh on our list of the top 10 most important Bills from the 2022 NFL season.


Dion Dawkins came in at No. 7 in the Cover 1 cumulative Top 10 Important Player rankings by earning 21 of 70 possible points (first-place vote = 10 points, tenth-place vote = 1). Dawkins’ highest ranking came from @SportsRoc2, who gave him the bronze with a third-place finish in his Top 10. The left tackle came in six points clear of DaQuan Jones, who finished eighth.

Counting Stats:

When it comes to counting stats for an offensive lineman, the smaller the number, the better. According to PFF (Pro Football Focus), Dawkins allowed four sacks, three hits, 30 hurries, and 37 pressures throughout 2022. Let’s look at those numbers in the rankings among 143 qualified offensive linemen to take 50% of their team’s snaps. The three hits are tied for 40th, 30 hurries tied for 17th, and four sacks tied for 76th. Now you have to take all of that with the context that Dawkins is blocking for super freak Josh Allen who is all over the pocket and beyond. @UberHansen lays out Dawkins’ high-level importance perfectly, “the generally accepted “most important” position on the offensive line is the left tackle, and the Bills have a good one. A six-year starter in Buffalo, Dawkins’ consistency allows Allen to excel in the pocket and take his time when scanning the field on rollouts to the right.”

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While the counting stats put Dawkins around the 30s amongst the rankings for best overall offensive lineman (counting tackles, guards, centers), the advanced stats like him a bit more. He ranked 22nd as a run blocker, per PFF, with a grade of 80.4. His 73.8 overall grade slides Dawkins down to 36th among all linemen. Both of those numbers pace the Bills’ OL with Ryan Bates ranking 99th in overall and Mitch Morse slotting in at 69th in run blocking. “With a franchise QB that moves around, you need an LT that is good at pass blocking on the blindside. Dawkins has been very good at that for the Bills, and has done a good job keeping Josh protected,” said @AjayCybulski.

Game of the Year:

Dawkins’ best game came in Week 2, a 41-7 demolition of the Tennessee Titans. The Bills passed for over 300 yards and rushed for another 100. PFF said it was the Temple product’s second-highest graded game of the season, coming in at 75.2. Josh Allen took just one sack, but that wasn’t credited to Dawkins. In fact, he was dinged for just one hurry over 68 snaps, an efficiency of 98.8%.


According to Spotrac, Dawkins has two years left on a four-year, $58,300,000 contract with the Bills. The deal includes an $8,600,000 signing bonus, $29,500,441 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $14,575,000. Dawkins will earn a base salary of $8,855,000, a roster bonus of $750,000, and a workout bonus of $250,000 while carrying a cap hit of $14,824,870 and a dead cap value of $12,866,000 in 2023. According to @Cover1 cap guru @GregTompett, Dawkins could be a prime candidate for a contract restructure with the Bills needed to clear up space to maneuver in this offseason. 

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Vorse’s Final Take

2022 may not have been Dawkins’ best year, but it certainly wasn’t bad. Also, it has to be a great feeling for Josh Allen to know that he has a stellar left tackle to grow with over the next decade. Dawkins is going to be a Pro Bowl-caliber lineman during that period and should be able to strive for All-Pro levels at times. The best part of Dawkins being in Buffalo may not even be his excellence on the field, as @SportsRoc2 puts it “he’s a consistently positive force on and off the field.” Everything he achieves between the lines is arguably topped by how amazing he has been in the community and through his charity (Dion’s Dreamers). I don’t say this lightly, the 2017 second-round pick is a good dude, and one any parent would be proud to have their daughter date. That’s me as a girl dad.

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