Grinding The Tape: Bucs TE Otton Edition

Coming into the 2022 NFL Draft most Bucs followers anticipated the group would handle the tight finish place. It was one of many few place teams on the group the place each the starter and the depth had 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. Immediately we’ll check out the primary of these two picks, Cade Otton from the College of Washington.

Blocking Will get You On The Subject

Once 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 if you ask NFL coaches what’s going to get a decent finish on the sphere they may begin with the participant’s blocking skill. Whereas the Bucs have employed many tight ends alongside the traces of the previous sort, most of these gamers had hassle 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 deal with. This run play is designed to his aspect and he finally ends up getting a little bit assist in the type of a small chip from the deal with on his project earlier than the offensive lineman strikes as much as the second degree. 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 total choose to the Detroit Lions selection.

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

Yards After Catch

Many pre-draft evaluations of Otton cited an absence of YAC skill as a disadvantage to his recreation. With all due respect to these evaluators, I disagree. Otton is just not going to blow you away with pace. However he does present a constant skill to get yards after the catch by displaying a strong contact stability strategy and a strong ahead lean. Bucs followers must be conversant in this idea from the previous two years of Gronkowski’s play. Check out this subsequent play for instance.

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 deal with misses his block and Otton instantly has to cope with a would-be tackler. Otton calmly jukes inside, then out, catching the protection off stability and simply slides by him. Subsequent, he runs over the nook attempting to wrap him up. After regaining his stability, he continues up discipline earlier than lastly getting knocked out of bounds, however not earlier than diving for a pair further yards for good measure.

On a play that began on the 14-yard line, Otton initially obtained the ball one yard behind the road of scrimmage. Michigan had alternatives to convey 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 had been after the catch. He might not look fairly doing it, however Otton can get the Bucs yards after the catch. Tampa Bay followers ought to actually get pleasure from this a part of his recreation because it may need shades of Mike Alstott rumbling, bumbling, stumbling his means up discipline on occasion.

Really feel For Zone Protection

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

Right here in opposition to Utah, he takes benefit of the play-action faux that attracts the linebackers in. He sits down in the midst of the sphere in entrance of the safeties earlier than making a straightforward catch and turning up discipline for added yardage. It isn’t a really tough play. However there’s a lot to be stated 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 pleasure in getting these issues proper constantly.

Contested Catch Means

I might argue this is without doubt one of the most vital expertise a decent finish can have as a receiver. Typically left in the midst of the sphere, they have to be capable to maintain onto the ball whereas coping with defenders making nearly instantaneous contact with them. That is one in all 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 sphere to the quarterback’s weak aspect. As soon as he makes it throughout, he pushes up discipline in 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 in a position to create separation and tracks the ball to his palms nicely.

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

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

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