Embarking on a strong 2023 campaign, where does Ohio State TE Cade Stover file in as a 2024 NFL Draft prospect? The TE1 spot is locked up, but can Stover be one of the tight ends selected on Day 2 or within the top 100? Let’s take a closer look.
Cade Stover Draft Profile and Measurements
- Height: 6’4″
- Weight: 251 pounds
- Position: Tight End
- School: Ohio State
- Current Year: Redshirt Senior
If there’s any player who’ll unanimously win over the “football guys” in the 2024 NFL Draft, it’s Ohio State’s Stover.
The same Stover who’s a 6’4″, 251-pound TE that ran for 1,500 yards as a high school senior RB and played linebacker in the 2022 Rose Bowl when his team needed an assist. The raging bull who routinely bulldozes ill-fated DBs after the catch, and the team-centric blocker who’s always on top of his assignments.
Stover checks all the cosmetic boxes to win over old-school football minds, but he’s also a high-utility and productive TE in the modern age. In 2022, he caught 36 passes for 406 yards and six TDs, and so far in 2023, he’s on track for career-best numbers.
How exactly does Stover project in the 2024 NFL Draft, and what kind of value can he provide an NFL team at the next level? That’s what we’re here to figure out.
Cade Stover Scouting Report
- Has a strong, well-proportioned frame with box-out utility and solid length.
- Explosive enough to cross the formation and gain a step on second-level defenders.
- Agile enough to offset and hurdle defenders in space then recollect strides.
- Can make high-difficulty frame and arm adjustments at a moment’s notice.
- Able to make quick in-stride adjustments working across the field as a RAC threat.
- Vice-grip hand strength allows him to pry passes away from contesting defenders.
- Authoritative hands and strong hand-eye coordination bolster his reliability.
- Clutch pass catcher with steely focus on third-down and red-zone opportunities.
- Control, composure, timing, and strength make him a tough assignment up the seam.
- As a seam threat, can bait defenders with eyes and adjust his catch leverage quickly.
- Physical RAC threat with leg churn who consistently finishes forward against contact.
- Elite contact nullifier who can repeatedly offset space DBs and shrug through tackles.
- Has the zone awareness to sneak behind LBs and sit in open windows.
- Uses head fakes and presses at vertical stems to manipulate DBs and clear out space.
- High-effort, assignment-sound blocker with the strength and power to drive defenders.
- Visibly lacks space-maintaining speed and can be run down by superior athletes.
- Might not have an elite athletic trait in his arsenal to rely on.
- Doesn’t have elite length or an all-encompassing catch radius on high throws.
- Will need to acclimate as a seam threat in the NFL without stacking athleticism.
- Sometimes plays too tall as a route runner and lacks elite sink and flexibility.
- Needs time to recalibrate his hip alignment after being knocked off course.
- Can’t always cut tight angles efficiently on quick out routes in the short range.
- Sometimes appears tightly wound attempting to extend strides out of transitions.
- Lack of elite flexibility and agility constricts his potential route tree in the NFL.
- Will turn 24 years old ahead of his rookie season.
Current Draft Projection and Summary
On my 2024 NFL Draft board, Stover is a potential top-75 prospect and one of the top tight ends in the 2024 class behind Georgia’s Brock Bowers. There are a few factors that may lower Stover’s maximum range in April, but he’s a safe bet to be a Day 2 or middle-round pick.
At 6’4″, 251 pounds, Stover has the size, play strength, and passable athleticism to be a quality NFL tight end. And he has two of the most important operational traits for a TE to have: Elite catching instincts and elite hands.
MORE: 2024 NFL Draft Big Board
Stover’s ability to make high-difficulty adjustments — high and low-point balls and get to passes behind him — is almost unrivaled in the 2024 class, and he also has incredibly strong hands with great coordination and timing. Stover is a constant threat in contested situations and a clutch receiver on important downs.
Not only is Stover a potential game-changer at the catch point, but he’s also a stellar run-after-catch threat. He’s agile enough to offset defenders, and he can relentlessly churn through contact and tackle attempts with his physicality, contact balance, and forward-pressing style.
Stover’s athleticism is good-not-great and falls short of the elite mark. And his flexibility, in particular, is a concern at times. Especially as a route runner and projected NFL separator, it’s fair to wonder just how expansive his route tree can be.
Nevertheless, good TEs can be insulated schematically without elite separation ability, and Stover has everything else. He’s a go-to target in tight situations, a brawling bull after the catch, and a versatile, high-IQ, and high-effort blocker.
At the NFL level, while Stover doesn’t quite have the elite athletic upside of other prospects, he can be a quality NFL starter early, with a utility on all three downs.
NFL Draft Scouting Reports
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