3 players Buccaneers may trade ahead of 2024 NFL Draft

If the Buccaneers make a move before the NFL Draft, a few guys could make sense as trade candidates.
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TE Cade Otton

Cade Otten, Jonathan Owens
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As it stands right now, Cade Otton is at the top of the depth chart heading into next season, and he will be heading into his third season having established a floor of being an average starter. That comes with the harsh truth that Otton may already be approaching his ceiling as a player.

Otten, the No. 106 pick in the fourth round of the 2022 draft, has played in 33 of 34 possible games, and has started in 27. Collectively, Otton has caught 89 passes for 846 receiving yards, six touchdowns, 9.5 yards per catch,

After totaling 391 yards and two touchdowns on 42 grabs as a rookie, Otton was much improved in 2023, notching 47 catches for 455 yards and four touchdowns, all career-highs. Per Sports Reference, Otton's catch clip increased from 64.6% to 70.1% and quarterback's passer rating moved from 91.2 to 102.5, while lowering his drop percentage from 7.7% to 4.5%.

Ultimately, Otton's future in Tampa is similar to Godwin's in the sense of how Coen plans to use them next season. For what's been said, Otton may play a greater role this season than most expect.

“Cade Otton is a guy that if you look at his body of work in such a short time playing in the NFL, you take for granted that he played 98% of the snaps last year,” Coen said. “That’s something we need to take off his plate a little bit, but you gain more of an appreciation for a guy that is playing 98% of the snaps in this weather, in this league, at a position where you are playing really two."

“You are playing wideout and you are playing O-line in a lot of ways. So I gained a lot of appreciation [for him] – and he’s a great guy. I got to meet him and be around him. He seems like the type of person you want your son to grow up to be like. Cade would be one of those guys for sure.”

With that said, the Buccaneers' window to win and advance deep into the playoffs won't be open forever. Evans and David are both on the wrong side of 30, and Mayfield, Godwin, defensive tackle Vita Vea, and free safety Antoine Winfield Jr. are all getting older too.

While Tampa Bay chose to not add any competition at the tight end position in free agency, general manager Jason Licht and the front office will have ample opportunities to add a difference-maker in the NFL draft. Those options include Georgia's Brock Bowers, Texas' Ja'Tavion Sanders, Florida State's Jaheim Bell, Ohio State's Cade Stover, Kansas State's Ben Sinnott, Penn State's Theo Johnson, and Arizona's Tanner McLachlan.

By trading Otton, Tampa Bay wouldn't save much money since Otten is a non-first-round pick on his rookie contract. Instead, Otton would give the Buccaneers a trading piece in landing an extra late-round pick, or moving up in the later part of the draft to select a prospect falling down the draft board.