Bills’ NFL Draft Measurables: Finding trends at tight end


If you watched the NFL Scouting Combine and were wondering if that burgeoning crush you’re developing is a player who fits the Buffalo Bills’ archetypes, then this series is written especially for you. This series will examine the Bills’ combine measurables by position during the Brandon Beane/Sean McDermott era. Previously, we laid out the format and the statistical composition, and you can find that here as an introduction to the IOL chart. For the rest of the series, there will be less of the math class talk, and a little more description of the types of players who exemplify those traits.


The chart below details the average scores for that year’s group of rostered players. “Rostered” is important because these are not just drafted players, but the accumulation of all the players who spend time on the roster, regardless of acquisition method. The combine columns are items you are already familiar with if you clicked on this article, and the last column you likely already know too, Relative Athletic Score (RAS). RAS was created by Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb on Twitter), and it combines a player’s combine results and uses position-specific formulas to convert them into a score that can be compared between athletes. RAS uses a scale of 1-10, and a score of 10 is considered perfect.

The Range lines are the far extremes, plus or minus, that the Bills have rostered. The TE position is one where the Bills most definitely have a type, and that type is around 6-foot-4 and between 245-255 lbs. For TEs, the historical averages for their height and weight are 76.3 (6’4″) and 251.2 pounds respectively – there’s a hefty amount of Lee Smiths driving that number upwards though. The fastest .40 any McBeane-era TE has run was Dawson Knox’s 4.59, and the slowest was 5.10 by Nate Becker (Smith huffed in at 5.01).

The “SD” lines might be strange if you’re unfamiliar with standard deviation and/or didn’t read the first article, but the link above will get you there.

The TE Chart

Compare the Bills’ average composite TE with Mockdraftable’s average for the position within the league as a whole:

To offer an idea of what some of the outliers look like, here are the far ends of some key TE measurables beyond the 40:

  • 10-Yard Split: Fastest, Knox, 1.57; Slowest, Becker, 1.78
  • 20 Yards Shuttle: Fastest, Charles Clay, 4.15; Slowest, Quintin Morris, 4.65
  • 3 Cone: Fastest, Zach Davidson, 6.95; Slowest, Khari Lee, 7.62

One of the players who most typifies the Bills’ archetypes is Dawson Knox. He is generally faster than the Bills’ averages but fits all the first deviation marks except for the 4.0 and 10 Yards Split.

  • LBS: 254
  • Height: 76
  • Arm Length: 33.5
  • Hand Size:9.75
  • 40: 4.59
  • 10 Yd Split: 1.57
  • Vertical: 34.5
  • Broad: 122
  • 3 Cone: 7.12
  • 20 Yd Shuttle: 4.27
  • Bench Press: 16
  • RAS: 9.25

RAS for the Composite

This is another position where the RAS formula recognizes the Bills’ type pretty spot on. Recognize anyone down below?

The caveat remains throughout this series that prospects who are outside of the Bills’ athletic profile are not automatically expunged from the draft board. In fact, it might even be more telling when a player who doesn’t fit the profile is drafted because it means they like other aspects of the player’s game enough to move forward with acquiring him despite the fact that he didn’t fit what they usually look for.



You can find Chris on Twitter (@lowbuffa), getting dirty in #MafiaGardens, or watching football. Go Bills!