Grinding The Tape: Bucs TE Otton Edition

Coming into the 2022 NFL Draft most Bucs followers anticipated the group would deal with the tight finish place. It was one of many few place teams on the group the place each the starter and the depth have been seen as relative weaknesses. Cameron Brate was the penciled in because the starter with Codey McElroy the lone backup on the roster.

Many hope that Rob Gronkowski will return to the group. However till that occurs it’s the group’s accountability to bolster the unit. And bolster it they did. Earlier than the top of the weekend Tampa Bay would take two tight ends to assist fill out the unit. As we speak we’ll check out the primary of these two picks, Cade Otton from the College of Washington.

Blocking Will get You On The Discipline

Whenever you have a look at this place most followers hope their group’s tight finish is a playmaker. That’s all nicely and good. However once you ask NFL coaches what will get a good finish on the sector they’ll begin with the participant’s blocking potential. Whereas the Bucs have employed many tight ends alongside the strains of the previous kind, most of these gamers had bother even making the energetic roster. Case in Level: Tanner Hudson. Otton shouldn’t have these points as he’s a plus blocker.

Within the clip above Otton is lined up on the skin of the left sort out. This run play is designed to his facet and he finally ends up getting a little bit assist in the type of a small chip from the sort out on his task earlier than the offensive lineman strikes as much as the second stage. However make no mistake, Otton wins this block 99% on his personal. The participant he stonewalls? That’s Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson. He of the No. 2 general decide to the Detroit Lions selection.

How did he win it? He beat Hutchinson off the road along with his get-off and was capable of get his arms into Hutchinson’s chest. Otton has longer arms than Hutchinson so as soon as he bought them prolonged the Wolverines defender was going to have issue getting leverage. This helped Otton win the rep regardless of an anchor that leaves one thing to be desired. The approach on this play is excellent and will give Bucs followers hope for Otton’s flooring within the NFL.

Yards After Catch

Many pre-draft evaluations of Otton cited a scarcity of YAC potential as a disadvantage to his sport. With all due respect to these evaluators, I disagree. Otton isn’t going to blow you away with pace. However he does present a constant potential to get yards after the catch by displaying a strong contact steadiness strategy and a strong ahead lean. Bucs followers needs to be accustomed to this idea from the previous two years of Gronkowski’s play. Check out this subsequent play for example.

This can be a designed display to Otton after a block and launch. His blockers do a nicely sufficient job of getting out in entrance of him, nevertheless his proper sort out misses his block and Otton instantly has to cope with a would-be tackler. Otton calmly jukes inside, then out, catching the security off steadiness and simply slides by him. Subsequent, he runs over the nook attempting to wrap him up. After regaining his steadiness, he continues up subject earlier than lastly getting knocked out of bounds, however not earlier than diving for a pair additional yards for good measure.

On a play that began on the 14-yard line, Otton initially acquired the ball one yard behind the road of scrimmage. Michigan had alternatives to deliver him down on the 17-, 20- and 24-yard line. He ended up lastly going out of bounds on the 27-yard line for a 13-yard achieve, 14 of which have been after the catch. He could not look fairly doing it, however Otton can get the Bucs yards after the catch. Tampa Bay followers ought to actually take pleasure in this a part of his sport because it might need shades of Mike Alstott rumbling, bumbling, stumbling his approach up subject every so often.

Really feel For Zone Protection

Whereas Otton gained’t wow everybody on the pace gun, which is able to restrict his potential to separate in man protection towards extra athletic linebackers, safeties and slot corners, he does show an adeptness at discovering holes in zone protection.

Right here towards Utah, he takes benefit of the play-action faux that attracts the linebackers in. He sits down in the course of the sector in entrance of the safeties earlier than making a simple catch and turning up subject for added yardage. It’s not a really tough play. However there’s a lot to be mentioned for doing the little issues nicely and making the most of low-hanging fruit. Because the son and grandson of soccer coaches, Otton is aware of this and reveals satisfaction in getting these issues proper constantly.

Contested Catch Means

I’d argue this is among the most essential expertise a good finish can have as a receiver. Typically left in the course of the sector, they have to be capable of maintain onto the ball whereas coping with defenders making nearly instantaneous contact with them. That is considered one of Otton’s largest strengths and can assist him endear himself to his new Bucs quarterback Tom Brady.

Right here Otton is on a block and launch the place he has to work throughout the sector to the quarterback’s weak facet. As soon as he makes it throughout, he pushes up subject in the direction of the top zone. Utah’s weakside linebacker picks up Otton proper as he begins to get vertical and tries to run with the tight finish. Otton is efficiently capable of create separation and tracks the ball to his palms nicely.

As he begins to return down with the ball the linebacker tackles via him to attempt to break up the go earlier than Otton can set up possession of the ball. It doesn’t matter. Otton’s tender palms and physique management enable him to keep up management of the ball for a contact down.

Good blocking, good palms, and an underrated potential to create after the catch are only a few explanation why Otton ought to assist bolster the Bucs tight finish room in 2022 and past.