July 2nd, 2023

New star?

This is the time of the year — List Season — when folks start looking for players few know about but will know about when the NFL season ends in February.

For analyst/humorist Adam Rank of, he believes that Bucs guy to be known from sea to shining sea is second-year tight end Cade Otton.

(Column intermission: Joe had Rank’s favorite team the Bears on the brain and when Joe first typed Otton’s name, Joe accidentally typed “Cade McNown.”)

2023 breakout star: Cade Otton, tight end. Otton recently told reporters that he wanted to be like Rob Gronkowski, which is great. When I’m on the golf course, I want to be more like Jordan Spieth. I think Otton might have a better chance of accomplishing his goal than I do of reaching mine. But hey, I’ve been chipping well. I kind of like what I saw out of Otton last year. He had 65 targets and ended up scoring a pair of touchdowns. It might not seem like a lot of touchdowns, but that was as many as Julio Jones scored in 2022. And I heard Julio was pretty good. Otton could be a like a better version of Cameron Brate, which isn’t as headline-grabbing as saying you want to be like Gronk.

Well, Joe likes Otton but he’s got a long, long way to go before he becomes the next foot-rubbing Rob Gronkowski. Gronk is a horse. Otton would have to start working out with bodybuilders to get that huge.

Joe thinks Rank’s comparison to a young Cam Brate is much more likely. Otton is a little better blocker than Brate, who was a poor blocker. But he certainly has the same skillset as Brate and probably is quicker and will be better on downfield throws.

Brate was damn good catching passes in the seam, especially in the red zone.

The Bucs could and have done worse with a fourth-round pick than finding a better version of a key tight end on a Super Bowl-winning squad.

16 Responses to “Breakout!”

  1. Buc4evr Says:

    If he wants to be like Gronk he better learn to block.

  2. Sly Pirate Says:

    Do Seattle or Rams (Canales pedegree) use TEs much?
    Nothing is coming to mind.

    Breakout Candidates
    OFF: R White
    DEF: JTS

  3. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    We have not had the best of luck drafting TEs of late…but this kid is a different type of TE than we normally draft.

    Hoping for the best!

  4. SOEbuc Says:

    Very excited to see what Payne is about.

  5. Just Leave Trask Alone Says:

    The kid can catch a little bit he’s mikes away from Gronk.

  6. garro Says:

    Gronk was the unicorn of tight ends in that he could block like a tackle and catch like wide receiver. But get more YAC and flat run over defenders.
    Otton had a very good year for a rookie, but Gronk like? No, and not likely to be in the future either.

    Improving his blocking. For him that is a goal that would be achievable. As with any tight end the goal is not to have to take him off the field or assist him on run plays. That is the Achilles heel of most teams at tight end.

    Barring that, I hope they can tap in to Kiefts abilities. I don’t think he is a liability in the pass game as many have said. Getting him some touches as an H-back would be awesome I think.

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    Garro … I agree with you about Ko Kieft. Of the 4 TEs we put on the field last season, Ko had the highest catch percentage (7 catches in 10 targets for 70.0%). I know that’s a very small sample, but still it’s very encouraging. Got us 80 yards on those (11.4 YPC) that was also the highest YPC among our TEs.

    I’m a believer that you can’t teach size … or toughness … and Ko has them both. At 6’5″ & 265 lbs he’s got Gronk’s size (6’6″ & 265 lbs) and seems to have a similar toughness. Just a matter of harnessing that properly. Even with drafting Payne Durham, I think Ko will see significantly more offensive snaps this season than he did last year (265 offensive snaps … plus another 276 S/Ts snaps in 17 regular season games).

  8. FrontFour Says:

    I like our TE room. Guys are all young, hungry, can catch the ball, have great size. We know Ko can block. Hopefully Ko and Otton put on some NFL man weight this off season. Durham has everything but speed, yeah, ouch. But the guy was always open at Purdue and muscled his way into lots of TD catches.

  9. BillyBucco Says:

    I was looking up Fantasy sleepers a week ago to see if anyone had Rachaad White.
    I didn’t see him listed, but on the site I looked at, 2 of the 5 had Cade Otton listed.

  10. David Says:

    Who are we kidding we haven’t drafted a great tight end since Jimmy Giles but this kid if he gets anywhere close to the player Gronk was then I would say he had a successful career time will tell and it all depends if the offense calls for alot of Tight end plays that’s we’re Gronkowski was lucky and the fact he had Brady throwing him the ball Time will tell

  11. Glass Half Full Guy Says:

    For Otton to be “known from sea to shining sea” he’d have to be extremely successful. The Brady Era is over and the national media took their Bucs coverage with it. Same for any current player who didn’t get some love the last 3 seasons.

    It used to blow my mind in the couple of years before Brady and I was traveling the country a lot during the season. I’d hit a local “sports bar” for a Monday or Sunday night game and get to talking with some locals and if I brought up Mike Evans when the conversation was about receivers, I got a lot of blank stares. Who? Unless there was a fantasy nerd within earshot nobody seemed to know his name or how good he was.

    Winning will change that. I think Otton will progress this season but he’s still a kid with a lot of areas to improve but within reach for sure. He definitely seems to have the desire.

  12. ScottyMack Says:

    Sly Pirate wrote: “Do Seattle or Rams (Canales pedegree) use TEs much?
    Nothing is coming to mind.”

    The Rams had Gerald Everett through the 2020 season who was replaced by Tyler Higbee. Neither of them are exactly slouches. Before that, they had Jared Cook.

    The Seahawks had Jimmy Graham for several years during Pete Carroll’s tenure during which he put up fairly solid numbers. That’s about it.

  13. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Like what I saw in Otton last year. For his rookie year I thought he did above average. He was a rookie so between the combine , draft all the travel n team workouts mini camp learning a new play book and the ropes of the nfl I mean come on it’s gotta be tough for any rookie to come in right away and make a impact. I strongly believe he make a big leap this year. I also like that he has his goals set on being like gronk. That means he wants to be the best. What’s not to like about this kid.

  14. CrazyHorse54 Says:

    DW must have a breakout season. He would benefit from the article about Jack Lambert who will be enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame. If DW wants a mammoth contract he must play with the passion and violence of a Jack Lambert. Until then, he’s just another common MLB.

  15. Fred McNeil Says:

    Lambert was great, but players like him and Butkus, and even Hugh Green would get fined and suspended right out of the league today. I’d rather he be more like LVD.

  16. SlyPirate Says:


    Does Seattle’s offense use TE in the passing game? The answer is YES! Seattle’s 3, 5, 6 receivers are TE. We can expect to see a lot of passes going to Otton and Payne … and that’s a good thing.