Tight End - Tennessee
Combine Height: 6-7
Combine Weight: 250
Combine 40 Time: 4.63
Caught 21 balls for 241 yards and one touchdown in four injury-filled seasons (42 games total) at Tennessee.
Cottam combines the prototypical NFL body of former Panthers great Wesley Walls with the durability of single-ply tissue paper. He had far more surgeries (five) than touchdowns (one) during his Volunteer career, but when healthy… well, he never really was able to stay healthy so we don’t know for sure. However, he has good size, decent speed, and soft hands and should the fates decide to smile upon him he could become one of the more productive tight ends in this draft. The alternative, of course, is a Stephen Alexander-like career filled with frustration.
Teams looking to add Cottam will get input from their receivers coach, their line coach, and their orthopedic surgeon before taking the plunge. He should go off the board early on Day Two, with the Bengals, Saints, and Bills the early contenders. Don’t rule out the Cardinals, Seahawks, Packers, and Colts later in the round.
If you’ve enjoyed the careers of Alexander, Eric Johnson, and Todd Heap—and by “enjoyed” we mean, “spent every Sunday morning waiting to hear if they’d be able to make it to the field or not”—then Cottam is right in your wheelhouse. Between the traditional lackluster production of rookie tight ends and the odds that he’ll collect more DNPs than TDs, any pick spent on him is a risky proposition. Of course, if he does land in a tight-end friendly venue like Green Bay or Indy he may be worth a last-round selection… if only because you’ll be able to grab similar production off the waiver wire when Cottam inevitably goes down with his latest malady.