Buccaneers rookie gets deserved promotion on depth chart

Cade Otton, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Cade Otton, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers updated their depth chart with one notable change. A Buccaneers rookie has been promoted, and it is much deserved.

When Rob Gronkowski was still undecided on his future in football, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers went about their offseason perfectly as far as preparing for life after Gronk was concerned. The Buccaneers signed a veteran tight end, and drafted two more to go along with what they still had in Cameron Brate. Now, it appears they are set to benefit from one of these decisions.

When the Buccaneers went out and signed Kyle Rudolph to be another veteran presence in the tight end room, it was cause for celebration for a lot of fans, even though this writer tried warning of tempering expectations to the aging, and oft-injured Rudolph (humble brag). Now, it appears those concerns are rearing their heads, as Rudolph’s play appears to have declined, when he’s even on the field at all.

Meanwhile, as far as the two rookies are concerned, Ko Kieft has been thriving in his small, but vital, role as a blocking tight end and H-back in the offense. Then there is Cade Otton.

Otton was drafted as a do-it-all tight end in the fourth round out of the University of Washington. Obviously, Otton is not Gronk, but then again who is? That said, he does possess all of the necessary skills to thrive as a tight end in today’s NFL, just as Gronk did. He can block, catch, and is very good running after the catch as well. That is starting to become evident, as the more playing time the rookie receives, the more his talents are beginning to shine.

All of this has been rewarded with a promotion on the depth chart, as Otton has moved past Rudolph as the second tight end behind Cameron Brate, who himself is recovering from a concussion, so that role should lead to more spotlight than it lets on.

All things considered, this move was pretty much inevitable. Long gone are the days when people tried to say Brate and two rookies won’t cut it. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers knew what they had in both Cade Otton and Kyle Rudolph. While the latter may have been more disappointing than anticipated, the former is coming on strong, and that is fantastic news for this offense that should finally level up sooner rather than later. This emergence is only going to help the cause.

Next. More on the draft class. dark