With Cade Otton’s selection by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the 1st pick in the 4th round he joins Darrell Daniels, Drew Sample, Will Dissly, and Hunter Bryant as Husky tight ends playing professionally. In addition to the current crop of players, Washington has a storied history of NFL tight ends with names like Mark Bruener, Aaron Pierce, and Cam Cleeland, to just name a few.
He projected as a day 2 pick, somewhere in the 3rd-4th round range and he ends up right in that range with the 106th overall selection. After the 2020 season it looked like Otton was a future 2nd rounder but a disappointing last year dealing with COVID, injuries, and a terrible offense dashed those plans. Especially when the injury meant he didn’t get to go through the full testing proces.
The Bucs got back Tom Brady after an incredibly short “retirement” and it’s unclear whether that means hall-of-fame TE Rob Gronkowski will also attempt to come back for yet another year. Regardless, he’s not a part of the long-term future and so a versatile tight end like Otton should be able to help even if it’s not immediately. Former 1st rounder OJ Howard never quite panned out and Cameron Brate is solid but not spectacular so there’s still a chance that Otton could see plenty of the field depending how that situation shakes out. He now joins fellow Dawgs Joe Tryon, Vita Vea, and Benning Potoa’e on that team.
Cade Otton arrived to Washington from Tumwater High School where he starred at tight end, middle linebacker, and even long snapper. He was not a blue chip prospect, but the 3-star recruit was the 2A state high school player of the year, while being coached by his grandfather and winningest high school coach in Washington history, Sid Otton. He
After redshirting his freshman year, he immediately made a name for himself as a strong all-around tight end and receiving threat, flashing remarkably consistent and soft hands. His route running was fairly advanced from the start, in particular finding space on seam routes. The 6-5 250 pounder finished his career with 1,000 yards and 9 receiving touchdowns.
For more about how Cade Otton’s skillset fits in the NFL, check out this scouting report from our very own Ben Glassmire.