2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Cade Otton

  • Cade Otton, 6-5/247

  • Tight End

  • Washington

  • Cade Otton Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Natural, smooth route-runner
  • Weapon to get open versus man or zone
  • Soft hands
  • Uses his hands late
  • Reliable to make catches in traffic
  • Good height, weight
  • Willing to go across the middle
  • Can function as an underneath receiver
  • Has the frame to be a blocker
  • Red-zone contributor
  • Size mismatch versus safeties
  • Presents a big target
  • Willing blocker
  • Three-down starting potential

  • Weaknesses:
  • Not a force as a blocker
  • Not strong enough to tie up defensive ends
  • Needs to grow stronger
  • Should get more aggressive as a blocker
  • Had some injury issues

  • Summary: Washington has had a nice run of tight end prospects over recent years, and Otton will continue that tradition in the 2022 NFL Draft. As a freshman in 2018, Otton had three touchdowns on only 13 catches for 174 yards. He then had his best season in 2019 with 32 receptions for 344 yards and two touchdowns. Otton played well in the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season with 18 grabs for 258 yards and three touchdowns. As a senior, Otton was off to a good start before being sidelined with COVID-19 and not playing as well to close out the season. He totaled 28 catches for 250 yards and a touchdown on the year.

    Otton has the potential to be a dangerous receiving tight end who contributes well to a NFL passing attack. He has a well-rounded set of tools as a receiver to beat defenses in a variety of ways. Otton has good size and is very adept at going up to make contested catches over defenders. He high points the ball well and has strong hands to control the ball while getting hit. Otton has a nose for the end zone and should be an asset in the red zone, where he was very good at producing touchdowns in college. On top of good hands, Otton has good feel as a route runner and knows how to separate. Otton gets open running down the seam, on crossing routes, and underneath. While Otton does not have elite speed or athleticism, he is effective and is a pure football player who can beat man or zone coverage.

    Otton is also a willing blocker. He gives an effort and is not a tight end who shies away from engaging a defender. Otton, however, has room for improvement, as he needs to get stronger to tie up defensive ends and generate more stalemates. He also needs to grow more aggressive.

    In the 2022 NFL Draft, Otton could be a second-day pick, depending on how teams evaluate him medically. Otton could become a three-down starter in the NFL if he can stay healthy.

    Player Comparison: Zach Ertz. Otton’s natural receiving ability is similar to Ertz’s. Ertz was more productive in college, perhaps due to playing in better circumstances, but if Otton pans out, I could see him a tight end similar to Ertz.


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