Cade Otton Gets An O.J. Howard Comparison, Cleared For Duty

July 21st, 2022

Rookie tight end Cade Otton, the first pick of Round 4.

There’s a ton of love for Buccaneers rookie tight end Cade Otton among intelligent NFL types.

The line is pretty much the same everywhere: Otton is a big-time talent who was underutilized in a second-rate offense at the University of Washington. He’s versatile, comes from a family of coaches and players, and he’s a mature rookie at 23 years old.

Somehow, Otton was on the board for the Bucs with the first pick of Round 4, the opening selection of Day 3 of the NFL Draft.

Former defensive back turned NFL Network draft guru Charles Davis, who is now a top FOX game analyst, was talking a load of Bucs yesterday on SiriusXM NFL Radio. Among Bucs rookies, Davis is most excited about Otton, and he compared Otton landing in Round 4 to the stunner of the 2017 NFL Draft.

That’s when tight end O.J. Howard, considered by many to be a top-10, can’t-miss pick, fell and fell and fell and fell to the Bucs at No. 19 overall. That’s the kind of steal Davis believes the Bucs got with Otton, who is coming off ankle surgery but has been cleared for duty. Bucs rookies and quarterbacks (only) report for training camp on Saturday.

What a coup it would be if Davis, and many others, are correct about Otton. No, Joe’s not looking for the next O.J. Howard, but if Otton can play like a good second-round pick this season, then Joe will take it.

A big key is what no fan or media will see: Otton and Brady working out Saturday, Sunday and Monday before the rest of team arrives for full training camp’s kickoff on Wednesday.

If Brady and Otton have a quick connection, then Otton’s stock could elevate in a hurry.

57 Responses to “Cade Otton Gets An O.J. Howard Comparison, Cleared For Duty”

  1. SB~LV Says:

    Kid has all the DNA of a football player from a football family, check !
    Can he play in the NFL …. Stay tuned

  2. D-Rok Says:

    Can you imagine how the Bengals fans feel about J Chase right now? I hope after this season expires us Bucs fans can feel the same ecstasy if Otton blows up this year. At the very least, Otton is highly regarded as a player with good potential. Otton certainly could not ask for a better QB. Let’s see how he performs this year, and hopefully, we will all have a very pleasant surprise.

    GO BUCS!!!

  3. Uhmm Says:

    Hopefully the only comparison to O.J is body physique and speed.

  4. #8 Says:

    Isn’t it bad to compare Cade to OJ?


  5. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Sorry for being slow on the uptake but are you saying Otton is got to spend three days with TB or that it would be nice?

  6. LJ'sDaddy Says:

    I hope he is not like OJ. I was jacked at that pick. He flashed moments but was unhealthy a lot and never really came on. Good luck Cade.

  7. Buczilla Says:

    Was Davis trolling us by comparing this kid to such a disappointing player like Howard? Anyways, I’m excited to see this kid play, but he went in the 4th round for a reason so I’m not expecting a whole lot other than flashes of good play.

  8. PassingThru Says:

    #8 Says:
    July 21st, 2022 at 12:01 pm

    Isn’t it bad to compare Cade to OJ?

    Not at all. OJ Howard produced like an early 4th-round pick.

  9. Allbuccedup Says:

    Lets hope he is a much better pick than OJ.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Bucs traded up 12 slots to select Luke Stocker in the 4th round…

    Licht sat tight with this pick……I’m quite sure he had many offers to trade out of that spot….but having all night and some of the next day before the pick….went with Otten……

    If he can catch and block….he’ll end up being a great pick. I believe this was one of our extra picks from Jacksonville.

  11. Tye Says:

    Kyle Rudolph now makes things interesting!

  12. Craig Says:

    Talk about grasping at straws.

    Otton was a bright spot on an awful offense. He stayed, for a while, and made the best of it.

    O.J. was a luxury on a loaded offense. He bolted to the NFL because he got a few good plays under his belt and thought he was a star.

    Otton was born and bred to be a good player, O.J. got lucky.

  13. SB~LV Says:

    There was a reason OJ didn’t catch many passes in college

  14. Dooley Says:

    Excited to see what Otton can do in this transition phase of his pro career. For a guy that doesn’t blow you away with his athleticism, he makes up for with really good footwork for a TE and the fact he was asked to run a bunch of different concepts out of the route tree for UW. To me, Otton can develop into a TE we trust as a blocker like we did with Howard grow into being being a receiver sort of like Tanner Hudson. So an attempt at replacing two separate players and eventually doing what either of those guys did best with some moderate success in the short term.

  15. Kgh4life Says:

    Not saying Otton will be O.J. Howard,however, being compared to OJ is a bad comparison.

  16. Tony Says:

    I wouldn’t want Otton compared to OJ. It would be nice to see him compared with some of the top TEs to play overall if anything if you’re gonna do some comparing already. Like Gonzalez or Gronkowski or Sharpe or Gates or Kelce.

  17. GOB Says:

    Let’s pump the breaks a bit. It was a weak TE draft, and the kid was available in round 4 for a reason. Say he was underutilized, is a fancy way of saying he underproduced. Gronk had 546 receiving yards his rookie year. That was in all 16 games. Expecting Otton to give you anything close to that, is wishful thinking. Most of the TE receptions will go to Rudolph. I’d be extremely surprised if Otton makes much of an impact.

  18. Dooley Says:


    can’t discount the prospect that at some point this season dependant on how Otton responds to whatever snaps he gets leading up to the bye week, that somebody on the offensive staff may potentially see a reason to give Otton more PT. Not saying he’s going to be a ball of fire out of the gate, but having Rudolph on hand makes it so Otton/Kieft get afforded some time to get themselves acclimated to how our offense operates as well as their respective transitions to playing at the pro level. I don’t think anybody is realistically expecting him to come in and match what we got out of Gronk last year, but I think the collective effort of the entire TE rooms can make the loss less impactful as far as production goes.

  19. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I agree about Otten!
    I have watched film of this guy, and he was awesome before he got hurt.
    Of course, he will not be the blocker Gronk was, until he puts on some weight, but he has excellent hands, as well as a knack for getting open.

  20. Marine Buc Says:

    “No, Joe’s not looking for the next O.J. Howard,”

    Good. Neither are we (Buc fans)… lol

  21. Mike Says:

    I love the Otton pick! We needed an influx of talent at TE and we got that in the draft with the two rookie TE’s we drafted. Both are very well rounded and both will see the field a lot this season I suspect.

  22. D-Rok Says:


    I agree to a point. But we are in pom-pom season as fans, so any pouring of Gatorade on the back of my optimism parade sure quenches the dreaming of what may be. Realistically, I’m not expecting much out of Otton, but if he could give us a few hundred yards, a TD or 2 = success for his first year.

  23. Goatfarmer Says:

    Low expectations for the guy. Stocker sucked. This guy could turn out not as good.

  24. sasquatch Says:

    ^ Disagree. Stocker didn’t suck. He was a 4th round pick. Great blocker and still in the league last I checked. A long consistent career as a blocking TE is a pretty decent 4th round pick.

    Otton’s scouting report says he’s got good hands, decent speed, and a willingness to block, along with the size to get better at it. There’s no reason to be such a pessimistic little b!tch about this guy… unless you’re predisposed to being a little b!tch, which you might be.

  25. steele Says:

    All of these rookies are….rookies. Grade is zero until they do something.

    The Kyle Rudolph move was so predictable and safe that I’m disappointed. Could they have done something more creative than a quiet one year band aid? I suppose they explored trading for clear TE1s like D Shultz, and were rebuffed. Could the younger Jesse James provide as much or better production as Rudolph, but more upside?

    You know where this is all headed. TE will be top priority next spring. Zzzzz.

  26. BillyBucco Says:

    The best part about any of it is he is from a sports family and his dad is a coach.
    This kid is really smart and will more than likely pick up the playbook quickly.

    The little often unseen and overlooked details of running option routes are probably gonna come easier because of his background.

    It’s just possible that BA is right about a Home Run draft, which means every player makes an impact this year or next I think.
    Hopefully it’s this year.

    LFG Bucs

  27. sasquatch Says:

    steele Says:
    July 21st, 2022 at 2:52 pm

    You know where this is all headed. TE will be top priority next spring. Zzzzz.

    We’ll see. If it weren’t for the ankle surgery, Otton would have gone higher and viewed as a quality TE1. May not be super productive this year, but could be our starter next year. With Kieft around as a strong blocking TE behind Otton, our need at the position might be for another developmental TE or we could go there in free agency. I feel like drafting Otton and Kieft was a solid bet on the future.

  28. Bucsfanman Says:

    Yeah, PLEASE, we do NOT want another OJ Howard.
    If the kid produces, that’s great. If OJ is the bar, Otton should have no trouble surpassing him if he has the skills.

  29. Bird Says:

    I know this is Otton article but just saw breakdown of td catches in kyle rudolph 10 year or so career

    Dude had some pretty horrible qbs throwing to him over the years
    Ex: Christian Ponder threw him the most

    Dude has a real qb this year. You know the GOAT

  30. Stanglassman Says:

    The comparison is that they both TEs fell in the draft and the Bucs got them. He wasn’t comparing their play.
    To me the biggest difference in the two is one loves the game and the other doesn’t. I’m not sure if OJ even likes football much less love it.

  31. Biff Barker Says:

    Otten getting clearance to play is welcome news.

    Now lets hope him and TB12 come together.

    Otten understands coaching and this will really please Tommy. I really like the future.

  32. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    So….if Otten can block like Stocker and catch like Brate….he’ll be a great TE.

  33. David Says:

    I did not expect anything in this draft from tight ends unfortunately because that’s what the Bucs needed. I thought it was going to be Gronk, Cam and sign someone else until next year when the draft is better.
    So if these two rookies develop, from what we’re hearing one is great at blocking and one is a great receiver, that’s pretty outstanding

  34. SB~LV Says:

    TBBF… that would be a home run!
    I think this is going to be a great draft class . I was very impressed with their introduction video interviews, smart , passionate about the game.

  35. GOB Says:

    D-Rok my friend, Otton may turn into a fine TE. He has the blocking skills that many drafted TEs don’t these days. The NFL is looking for oversized WRs basically. Matchup problems. Otton doesn’t fit that role, but he’s a polished blocker. At 23 years old, he kinda is what he is as a pass catcher, in my view. Getting excited about any forth round pick, is delusional. I get that this is tire pumping season for all draft picks, but let’s see the guy actually play a pre season game, before we release all over the place.

  36. Beeej Says:

    I’m more excited about Kieft than Gotten, (nothing to base it upon) When he IS targeted he always grabs it, and he pancakes people. I think he has a better chance to be another Gronk/Dave Casper than Otten does

  37. DaBux Says:

    If he’s healthy and listens to Coach Brady, he’ll be a superstar.

  38. Scooter Says:

    Gronk got passes from the GOAT his whole career. Rudolph never had a QB of Brady’s caliber running an offense. Watch out.

  39. Oneilbuc Says:

    It’s a shame that some of yall talk bad about all of our young players . This is what I be talking about when I call yall a weak and sorry fan base. This is why I call yall the suckaneer fans. Now this guy hasn’t played one snap yet and some of yall still saying he ain’t going to be good. Yall don’t get behind none of our young players that the bucs drafted even though they haven’t even played one down yet and already they ain’t good. But yall love to call me a saints fan and now I’m a dolphin fan because of what has been reported about Brady wanted to play for the dolphins wich at first I thought it was fake news until it was confirmed. And yall act like Brady was a quarterback that was drafted by the bucs and develop by the bucs. And it seems like to me I’m more of a bucs fan than a lot of yall on here . Give this young tight end a chance to develop or at least wait until he get on the feild. But yall talk bad about all of our young players that haven’t even played yet but than call yourselves a real bucs fan?? I hope Trask is our next quarterback of future and he becomes a hall of famer. Go bucs !!

  40. Wild Bill Says:

    OJ looked like a stud and played like a dud. If Otton can knock corners and lbs on their ass he will be a solid addition.

  41. D-Rok Says:


    I, for one, never celebrate a premature release. (sarcasm/satire). However, as I alluded to, it IS pom-pom season. It’s unlikely (based on history) this kid will do much, especially in the first year. My only point was, based on being optimistic, is wouldn’t it be cool if Otton surprised the heck out of us? Like you exacerbated, Gronk was decent in his first year but nothing special. I see Otton’s ceiling this year as 400 yards, but I’d be stoked with 2-3 hundred yards. I do think the young man has a fine pedigree and seems to have been coached well. Let’s see what the Bucs coaches can do with this young stud. WHEW! That was quite a load. LOL!!!

  42. D-Rok Says:


    I’m willing to say this young draft pick doesn’t suck, because he doesn’t. Yet. I’m seeing his potential, and if it pans out, he will be a good TE. Time will tell if he’s anything special.

    As an aside: Don’t you think EVERY nfl fan-base has naysayers and pessimists?

  43. Eddie Marz Says:

    I hope he’s not the next O J Howard. That would suck! He better be better than that. GOBUCS!

  44. Oneilbuc Says:

    D -Rock. I feel what you saying bro but I wish we as fan base be more positive about the pick other than being negative about it because we don’t know. But I’m more like I will wait and see if he’s good or bad . But at the same time I’m rooting for the guy . And plus they have been doing this ever since Brady came on the team him and Gronk and now Trask and Cade ain’t going to be good even though they haven’t played 1 down yet. That’s I’m saying.

  45. D-Rok Says:


    Good, tangent, intelligible response, and I agree with you that fans should be a tad more optimistic than negative. I’m the more optimistic type at first. I mean, how can we as fans “grade” any player who hasn’t taken a snap yet?

    Yet, some “fans” just want to point out negatives, perceived or real. I like to wait and see before I become jaded or negative.

    Either way, we are all here to support and discuss our precious Bucs, and I’m thankful for this site. I learn a lot of opinions here that I may not have considered.


  46. Wild Bill Says:

    @Oniel: You said Yall at least nine times. Is that a speech impediment or just a habit? Also you used the word none instead of any. Then you said ain’t. Then you said wanted instead of wanting. Then you said wich instead of which. Then you said develop instead of developed. Then you said get instead of gets. Next you said feild instead of field Next you said than instead of then. And in your last sentence you out the word the in front the word future. Sorry but you failed to properly complete most of your sentences. I give you extra credit for the word suckaneer. That was mildly creative. But after your suckaneer sentence you managed to suck at your spelling and diction. Obviously you are an expert suckeneerer. Keep up the creative writing skill you have mastered. Yall.

  47. WillieG Says:

    We found a guy to replace Howard?! That’s freakin awesome! I never thought we’d find someone to match that level of production. Damn! That’s like what, 1-2 TDs and 157 yards per season?! Look out Super Bowl, here we come.

  48. Kody Says:

    CADE-A-DAY!!! I’m super psyched for this big, fast, strong dude! Yeah, of course he doesn’t have experience yet, but he’s got youth, size, speed and tons of heart! Would love for TB to take this dude under his wing and for them to come up with some big key plays this season. If he’s ready, no reason Cade can’t have a stellar rookie season.

  49. Wild Bill Says:

    I agree Kody. Let’s see what the kid can do before we criticism him. The Bucs could use a tough young guy.

  50. Goatfarmer Says:

    Stocker sucked with a capital S U C K.

    His highlight play was holding in the end zone resulting in a safety. Please. If Otton isn’t better than him, then the shoe fits. Prove me wrong rook.


    Tell us how you really feel, Bill.

  52. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist - City of St Pete - Founder of Says:

    In his college tape, Cade Otten looks and plays like a young Gronk.

    I think he is the Truth.

  53. Oneilbuc Says:

    Willie G . I was just getting my point across that’s all . I can care less how you feel about complet sentences and all that other crap you talking. My bank account is lovely and my family eats good so that’s all that matters .

  54. Goatfarmer Says:

    Osqueel – y’all clearly don’t understand about building and winning with a team. Young = Raheem Bucs 2011.

  55. Wild Bill Says:

    @Fire the cannons Haha. Ya I guess I was in a pissy mood. Maybe I can do better today. Or worse. 🙂

  56. THOMAS PFALZ Says:

    Howard kept dropping in the draft because most teams knew what (for some unknown reason) the Bucs didn’t that he was not a rd1 pick. Maybe a 4th. But he was for sure a bust in Tampa.

  57. T REX Says:

    It’s an insult. Howard is a HUGE bust. WOrthless