The University of Washington has been kind to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as of late, and one tight end may continue that trend for the Buccaneers and Huskies.
The Bucs, like most it not all teams in the NFL, have shown that they have a bit of a pattern when it comes to which colleges and universities they draft their players from. In recent years, Jason Licht and the company have shown a tendency to draft players from schools in Florida. This makes sense, considering the Buccaneers play their home games in, you guessed it, Tampa Bay, Florida. The University of Washington has also produced two of the last four Bucs’ first-round draft picks in the form of Vita Vea and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka. Vea, who was seen as a first-round talent but not heavily coveted during the 2018 NFL Draft, is already among the NFL’s elite. Tryon-Shoyinka meanwhile, was the last pick of the first round in 2021 when the Buccaneers were essentially drafting for depth, and finds himself having a golden opportunity to break out and emerge as a star of the defense as the penciled-in starter.
Given the quality of the two defenders thus far, it’s easy to understand why we’re about to see at least one more Husky play for the Bucs. The Buccaneers selected Cade Otton from the University of Washington in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft as a part of their brilliant planning strategy for their future (and possibly present) lives without Rob Gronkowski.
It’s easy to see why. Otton is a talented receiver with his 6’5″ and 247-pound frame with skills in the run-blocking department. He would have been drafted higher if not for health concerns, and ironically health concerns are why his Washington teammates Zion Tupuola-Fetui, and Jaxson Kirkland pulled out of the draft when they were projected to go in the earlier rounds.
Speaking of his Washington teammates, the quarterback play left much to be desired, leading Otton’s numbers to do the same, which didn’t help his draft stock either.
Otton isn’t letting any of this bother him though. After all, he gets to play with Tom Brady. Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum. When speaking to reporters for the first time at rookie minicamp, Otton had this to as about playing with Brady in this offense:
"I think it’s a great fit. It’s super cool to see the way this offense treats their tight ends. We can basically line up in any spot on the field and run all of the same routes as wide receivers do. It’s a great opportunity to be a big part of the team and contribute to the offense in a big way."
Simply put, Cade Otton gets it. This mentality coupled with the fact that he’s been looking impressive in limited action thus far, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may have found another draft gem. The fact that his alma mater is the University of Washington is just the cherry on top of what could be a delicious Sunday sundae.