Washington football has a rich history of success at the tight end position, and that’s going to show in a big way during the 2020 season
One of Washington football’s best tight ends in recent years, Hunter Bryant decided to forgo his final season of eligibility and enter the NFL Draft, however, he went undrafted and ended up signing a UDFA deal with the Detroit Lions. However, don’t let that define Washington’s development, as he went undrafted because teams weren’t properly able to evaluate his knee that held him out for most of his freshman and sophomore seasons.
The legacy of Bryant is just the next in a long line that includes two second-round picks, and a fourth-round selection. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Will Dissly, and Drew Sample all had incredible careers at Washington. Jenkins won the John Mackey Award, given annually to the top tight end in the country, and Bryant was the runner up for the award in 2019.
Dissly played limited action his first three years for the Huskies, and was mainly utilized as a blocking tight end. Even though some unfortunate injuries have cut his first two professional season with the Seattle Seahawks short, he’s a promising prospect if he can stay healthy. He’s become a favorite target of Russell Wilson, and the 2018 fourth-round pick has caught six NFL touchdowns in 10 career NFL games.
In 2019, Sample was taken in the 2nd round by the Cincinnati Bengals. Another player known more for his blocking than his hands, the second round selection of Sample is a testament to what Cincinnati thinks his ceiling can be.
Junior Cade Otton might be the best of the bunch. Otton has already produced more than half as many yards (518) in two seasons, as Sample and Dissly combined for through their entire careers (823). An excellent blocker with soft hands, the 6’5, 240 pounder is technically sound in everything he does, and is one of Washington’s top candidates to leave early for the 2021 NFL Draft.
It’s hard to tell at this time how much Otton will be utilized in new offensive coordinator John Donovan’s scheme, but one thing we do know is that it’ll be fast-paced, hard-nosed, and aggressive.
The Huskies also have senior Jacob Kizer, who will probably slide into a similar role as Sample or Dissly. Kizer only has three catches in his Husky career, and spent most of the 2019 season battling injuries.
The Huskies will have several other tight ends competing for the third spot. This includes super athletic sophomore Devin Culp, who played in 12 games last year, and four-star freshman Mark Redman from Corona Del Mar (Calif.), who has all the tools needed to come in and play right away
Washington’s coaching staff has shown they have no problem using their tight ends early on if they can excel as a blocker. This should bode well for the 6’6, 250 pound Redman, who is an excellent run blocker. It shouldn’t be a surprise to Husky fans if both Culp and Redman overtake Kizer on the depth chart this year.
The Husky program is in good hands at the tight end position in the future, and that’ll be on full display in 2020!