by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated.
The NFL Draft talk never ends, and we are here at Draft 412 in an effort to keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars. From today until draft night 2024, we will bring you mocks, profiles, team needs, and everything else related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Ohio State, Tight End, Cade Stover
Name- Cade Stover
Team- Ohio State
HT/WT- 6’4” 255 lbs.
Home – Lexington, Ohio
Cade Stover grew up in Mansfield, Ohio and attended Lexington High School. He was named Ohio’s Mr. Football and Gatorade Player of the Year after rushing for 1,477 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior. On defense, he recorded 163 tackles and 4 interceptions and was rated a 4-star recruit, choosing Ohio State over Michigan, Penn State and Oklahoma amongst others.
Stover was initially recruited by Ohio State as a linebacker, but moved to defensive end before his freshman season. He played one game in his freshman year before redshirting. In 2020-2021, Stover mostly played tight end but at the end of the 2021 season, he started at linebacker in the Rose Bowl against Utah. Stover played in 9 games between the two seasons, catching 5 receptions for 76 yards while collecting 14 tackles.
In 2022, Stover became a full-time tight end and started to become a part of the Buckeye offense. In 13 games, he hauled in 36 passes for 406 yards and 5 touchdowns.
As a prospect, Stover has a nice frame and catch radius, two qualities desired by NFL teams for their tight ends. He gets off the line fluidly and has strong hands to bypass defenders. He possesses good body control which he uses to win combat catches and reach poorly thrown balls. He’s an above average jumper and is tough to bring down, running with a defensive mindset, punishing would-be tacklers. Stover plays to the echo of the whistle and is one of the best overall blockers from the tight end position in this draft class.
On the downside, Stover is still raw at the position and has problems in route running or finding spots in the zone. He’s had issues with drops and tends to move without securing the catch. At times, he can look uncoordinated when running his routes and will need to work on his foot mechanics coming in and out of breaks.
Watching film on Cade Stover, it’s easy to compare his game to current NFL’er and Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly. Both are maulers in the blocking game, and both are hard to bring down after a catch.
Tough to tackle
Cade Stover is finally settling into one position at Ohio State, and this will be the first time he will be a full-time starting tight end in back to back seasons. His blocking is NFL ready and if he can show that, he can be a quality target in 2023, the NFL will call his name earlier than some think.
Draft 412 Prediction: Round 4 or 5