As part of our ongoing series of UDFA profiles, James FitzGerald and I worked up some information about Kano Dillon that I planned to publish Saturday morning. The Redskins cut him on Friday.
For anyone who wants to get a sense of who Kano Dillon is, and why he was cut, I offer the article below that James and I prepared this week.
Elkanah “Kano” Dillon is a big man - 6’5” and 256 pounds - he was most recently a tight end for the Oregon Ducks.
NFL.com has a short biography on him:
Elkanah “Kano” Dillon did not play football until his sophomore year of high school, but learned enough in those three seasons at Ocala, Florida’s Vanguard High School to earn a scholarship offer from South Florida.
He played in 10 games as a reserve as a redshirt freshman in 2015, catching nine passes for 208 yards, averaging a hearty 23.1 yards per catch, and scoring twice.
Dillon was a big-play receiver as a sophomore, as well, snaring eight balls for 177 yards (22.1 average) and two touchdowns in 11 games (five starts). Plus, he caught the game-winning pass against South Carolina in that season’s Birmingham Bowl.
In 2017, however, the big plays were fewer (11 receptions, 119 yards, 10.8 average) and he only started three of 12 games played.
After the season, Dillon decided to transfer to Oregon as a graduate student. He played in nine games last fall, starting once and catching eight passes [for the season] for 110 yards (13.8 average) and two touchdowns.
If you feel a little underwhelmed by Kano Dillon, you probably aren’t alone.
DraftWire ranked Dillon 18th out of 25 rated tight end prospects following the Combine, which Kano Dillon was not invited to attend.
Another publication, DuckSports, which is all about Oregon sports, published an article in mid-March discussing the Oregon pro-day.
After featuring receiver Dillon Mitchell, and devoting half the article to Justin Herbert, who wasn’t even a draft candidate this year, the article talked about former Ducks QB Vernon Adams, currently playing in the CFL, before giving attention to Jalen Jelks and Justin Hollins. Not done yet, the article put the spotlight briefly on linebacker Kaulana Apelu and running back Tony Brooks-James, who missed chunks of their senior seasons due to injuries.
It’s not until the last sentence of the article that Kano Dillon gets a mention: “The other former Ducks who went through drills were tight end Kano Dillon, wide receiver Charles Nelson and linebackers Jimmie Swain and Pou Peleti-Gore.”
That was from a news source devoted to Oregon sports. Kano Dillon was listed with “the other former Ducks who went through drills”. Ouch.
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com wasn’t really impressed by what he saw from Dillon. Here’s his short assessment:
Dillon flashed some blocking potential at the Shrine game practices, but the effort level and consistency to sustain is hit or miss. He’s athletic and has adequate speed in open space, but hasn’t shown any signs of becoming a pass catcher. Will make it into a camp based purely on his traits in the hopes a team can unlock a level of play worthy of a roster spot.
Man, that just doesn’t sound good. A slow tight end who can’t catch and doesn’t put forth consistent effort? Oh my.
He’ll get into an NFL camp purely in the hope that a team can change him? Sounds like the relationship I had with my ex-wife.
Nothing I’ve seen in my research into Kano Dillon provides me with an understanding of why the Redskins signed him.
But I don’t want to rely on second and third hand reports to form an opinion. Hogs Haven is lucky to have the services a film analyst who has volunteered to give his take on the Redskins UDFAs.
James FitzGerald (@GMDfitz7765) is a former college player, high school coach, and an avid college football fan who has spent hours in the film room watching opponents and his own teams. His analytical skill adds depth to these profiles that I can’t supply on my own.
Let’s see if he’s seen anything in his film review to indicate that the Redskins have found a potential contributor at the tight end position in this undrafted free agent.
Fitz’s film review
- Oregon v. Bowling Green
- Oregon v. Portland State
- USF v. UCF
He has the size of Gronk and the strength of him as well. During the Portland State game he carried a few players into the endzone.
He is not bad at blocking from the H-back positon. He keeps his feet moving and uses his feet to take good angles at opposing players. Kano might make a serviceable blocking tight end.
The Oregon coach said Dillion has soft hands… he doesn’t. He is actually a very awkward receiver. Every catch I saw on film he muffled the ball or used his body to catch the ball.
He is unpolished for a guy that has played college football for five years. Normally a graduate transfer would have a polished game and would have great technique. However, his routes are choppy, his arms are out too wide when blocking, and he struggles catching the ball.
Dillion was on the field a small amount of time at Oregon. He started more games at USF, but I struggled finding drives where he was consistently on the field.
How would he fit with the Redskins?
I am not sure why the Redskins signed Kano Dillion. Maybe they see potential in his body? He could possibly be in a blocking role, but I don’t see it at tight end. However, he did line up at H-back at both USF and Oregon. Maybe they are trying him out at full back and have him block out of the back field. He was better blocking from H-back than he was at tight end.
In my opinion there are already three maybe four young tight ends on the roster who are better. Unless they plan on using him at fullback he will be cut from the roster.
LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The Washington Redskins announced today that they have made the following roster move:
The Redskins waived the following player:
TE Elkanah “Kano” Dillon
A taste of Kano Dillon’s Twitter feed:
Don’t look at another persons blessings and compare yourself. What’s for you is for you.— Kano Dillon (@CityBoyKano) April 18, 2019