Tops Among The Top-10

November 20th, 2022

“We didn’t get Gronk, Mr. Glazer, but I did get you a tight end.”

NFL Draft fans know this year’s draft saw the first 10 tight ends selected go off the board in a span of just 88 picks.

So which tight end taken among that top-10 has been most productive?

Enter Bucs general manager Jason Licht’s pick to start Day 3 of the draft. Cade Otton was the first pick of Round 4 and the fifth tight end off the board.

Otton leads NFL rookie tight ends in catches and receiving yards — 26 receptions for 281 yards and a TD. And Otton missed one game after the death of his mother.

Here’s the rookie TE roll call:

Trey McBride (Round 2, Cardinals, No. 55 overall) – 4 catches
Jelani Woods (Round 3, Colts, No. 73) – 7 catches
Greg Dulcich (Round 3, Broncos, No. 80) – 13 catches, 193 yards, 1 TD
Jeremy Ruckert (Round 3, Jets, No. 101) – 1 target, no catches)
Cade Otton  (Round 4, Bucs, 106) – 26 catches, 281 yards, 1 TD
Daniel Bellinger (Round 4, Giants, No. 112)  – 16 catches, 152 yards, 2 TDs
Charlie Kolar (Round 4, Ravens, No. 128) – Hasn’t played
Jake Ferguson (Round 4, Cowboyy, No. 129) – 9 catches, 68 yards, 2 TDs
Isaiah Likely (Round 4, Ravens, 139) – 17 catches, 205 yards, 2 TDs
Chigoziem Okonkwo (Round 4, Titans, 143) 8 catches, 172 yards, 1 TD

(For those wondering, no tight end draft in Round 5 or later has any significant stats.)

Otton leading the rookie charge is damn impressive, considering the Bucs have many other weapons and it takes time to earn Tom Brady’s trust.

Otton also has impressed with 3 solo tackles and 2 assists. Some tight ends on the list above don’t even play special teams like Otton does.

What a coup it would be to see Otton finish this season with, say, 48 catches, 500-plus yards, 3 TDs and a Super Bowl ring.

30 Responses to “Tops Among The Top-10”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Partly because Rudolph is washed…

  2. Goatfarmer Says:

    This kid looks great. I want to see him downfield more. Especially with Ko Kieft able to block as well as he does. Of course this would require the Bucs very offensive uncoordinator to do something in play design and execution to come up with even better results. That ain’t happening.

  3. Mike C Says:

    Goatfarmer, I have a challenge, post something without being a total tool.

  4. Casual Observer Says:

    Joe – Your closing suggestion has a nice ring to it. Like it.

  5. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Especially the ring. Especially.

  6. Jason Says:

    For those wondering, no tight end draft in Round 5 or later has any significant stats.

    Ko Kieft’s 4 receptions are not insignificant! Lol.

  7. BuxfaninTX Says:

    In all fairness, look at the guys drafted earlier….check who’s throwing to Otton compared to those other guys..

  8. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    To me……Otton reminds me of an upgraded version of Camron Brate……just better overall is every Aspect.

    What’s crazy, is that he’s just getting better too…..I hope he can keep this up and not get hurt.

  9. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Per his conversation with Michael Irvin, Otton wants to get in to the “88” club.

  10. NEfan Says:

    Brady brings out the best in talented TE’s and WR’s. Ask Gronk, Welker, Edleman, Branch, Givens, Hogan, Amendola, Watson Hernandez, Hogan etc. Most of these players no one would ever hear about without Brady. Otton & R. White the next two.

  11. THOMAS PFALZ Says:

    Otten was indeed a solid 4th rd pick. Not sure what kind of contract Brate has but the Bucs may need to draft a TE to compliment Otten.

  12. PSL Bob Says:

    I’m all in on that Super Bowl ring!

  13. ocala Says:

    No doubt that Jason Licht got to very good rookie TE’s in the draft this year.

  14. Bob Says:

    Would be very interested to learn how he earned such high stats other than Brady’s trust. What abilities separate him from the others? Speed, route running, jumping ability?

  15. Beej Says:

    I remember being severely bummed when we did not get McBride. I am pleasantly surprised with this kid. Seems like Keift and Otten together are like Gronk split into two people

  16. Buczilla Says:

    Yet another damn good pick from Licht.

  17. Beej Says:

    We have 3 feasible rookie of the year candidate

  18. D-Rok Says:

    Agree, beej. Replacing Gronk was always going to take 2 players, and that’s why he was so special. A WR in a tackle’s body, LOL.

    I guess at this point it’s pointless to wonder/hope/dream that Gronk will come back. SIGH. But, super glad we got to see Gronk and Brady together on the Bucs!!!!

  19. Rod Munch Says:

    With noodle armed Andy Dalton, the Saints are putting up points on the Rams by attacking them downfield. Just imagine what the Bucs could do if they didn’t have an idiot for an OC, who did more than run up the middle and call screen passes.

  20. AmauryGuzman Says:

    Bucs have to run the table. They need to be careful especially with the falcons here. The falcons have a cupcake schedule. These next games are critical for this team.

  21. AmauryGuzman Says:

    Those slimy saints putting up a good game today.

  22. NEfan Says:

    That just shows how bad the Rams are. No Kupp.

  23. AmauryGuzman Says:

    Bucs better not play around these next couple of games or they could see themselves out of the playoffs. That could be a possibility.

  24. Rod Munch Says:

    AmauryGuzman Says:
    November 20th, 2022 at 3:34 pm
    Those slimy saints putting up a good game today.


    I think it’s more about the Rams being awful. Wow did they fall off a cliff.

  25. NEfan Says:

    Cleveland gave Buffalo a run for their money.

  26. R0n@Tampa Says:

    Like many of you I am looking forward to seeing the Bucs become the next dynasty. Win the title this year and next and we are there.

  27. David Says:

    I am definitely impressed. He is getting better and better.
    Kind of shocked so many TEs were selected earlier than him.
    I kept saying I’ll draft that it was not the year to get a tight end. Next year has some real good ones. But definitely pleasantly surprised with the development of Otton.

  28. SOEbuc Says:

    He got game.

  29. steele Says:

    I know Joe’s job is to constantly pump everyone on this roster, but this was a bad draft for tight ends. Virtually no complete TEs at all. Poor production from this crop is not surprise.

    Gronk put Bucs in the worst position by delaying and equivocating until too late. Forced to take a TE in this one, Otton was among the more decent options,but not a world beater. They didn’t go for a free agent or get creative.

  30. garro Says:

    Jason Says:
    November 20th, 2022 at 11:09 am

    For those wondering, no tight end draft in Round 5 or later has any significant stats.

    Ko Kieft’s 4 receptions are not insignificant! Lol.

    Just snorted out my morning coffee. Absolutely Jason! Hope they get him more touches.