High School and College Career
Cade Stover, from Lexington High School, was rated a four-star recruit prior to joining Ohio State University. In 2020, as a freshman, Stover managed to see some action in three games for the Buckeyes but did not feature prominently in the passing game.
However, in his sophomore year in 2021, Stover was able to play in 12 games for the Buckeyes, but only made 5 catches for 76 yards, averaging 15.2 yards per catch, and failed to score any touchdowns. Moreover, his QB rating, when targeted, was just 54.2, indicating that he was not utilized optimally by the team.
In his junior year in 2022, in 12 games, he managed to make an impressive 35 catches for 399 yards, averaging 11.4 yards per catch. He scored 5 touchdowns and his QB rating, when targeted, was an elite 123.5.
Cade Stover Scouting Report Introduction
Cade Stover is a dynamic athlete who has played multiple positions for the Ohio State Buckeyes football team. He started out as a defensive end in 2019, moved to tight end in 2020, back to linebacker in 2021, and is now back at tight end in 2022. Stover is also a quality special teams contributor for the Buckeyes.
There is something natural about the way Stover competes and executes when he plays. He is a skilled player with good athletic ability, and it is clear that he has a diverse athletic background. Even with a lack of time on task, Stover functions at a high level on the field.
Stover excels at finding space in zone coverage as a receiver and making quick adjustments. He has the speed needed to separate from defenders and has developed into a vertical threat in 2022. Stover is also physical and competitive after the catch, with soft hands.
In addition to his receiving skills, Stover is an impressive blocker. He gets after it and really shines when he gets a chance to hit playside blocks in space, whether that’s as a lead blocker or on the perimeter. Ohio State has no reservations about asking him to run routes and block from a variety of alignments.
However, there are some areas where Stover needs to improve. Tight end is a slow-developing position, and he is underrepresented. As an in-line blocker, Stover needs to develop his hand placement and timing and get stronger to hold up more consistently. He also appears to be at a disadvantage when it comes to length and is frequently outreached when trying to block.
Some reports suggest that Stover’s heart is on the defensive side of the ball. But for his best path at the next level, he will need to fully embrace the tight end position.
Cade Stover is a standout player who can catch the ball with ease. Stover’s soft, natural hands allow him to make clean catches even in traffic consistently. He has a knack for shielding the ball from defenders with his frame and can hold onto it despite being hit.
Stover also excels as a blocker. He puts forth good effort at the point of attack and the field’s second level. His intelligence and adaptability make him a valuable addition to any NFL offense, as he can quickly acclimate to new schemes and playbooks.
He can get to the perimeter quickly and block well in space, making him a versatile asset on the field. Stover’s athleticism and skill as a route runner make him a difficult player to cover. He has a fluid, precise running style, with crisp cuts that allow him to get separation from defenders consistently. His enormous catch radius and sure hands make him an excellent choice as an underneath target.
He may need to improve his ability to locate the ball on shorter routes over the middle. While Stover has demonstrated skill on longer routes and can track the ball downfield, he may need to work on his head placement and reaction time when faced with shorter routes. A lack of comfort with running across the middle may be causing the issue.
Stover’s frame may limit his upside as a blocker. This means that he may struggle to make effective blocks due to his size and build.
Perhaps the most critical aspect of Stover’s game that needs improvement is his ability to create consistent separation. While he possesses size and can track the ball downfield, Stover lacks the twitch needed to create consistent separation from his defenders. This means that he may struggle to make plays when he is closely guarded by a defender. Additionally, despite his size, Stover is not great when it comes to contested catches. This is an area where he could improve by working on his timing, physicality, and determination.
Cade Stover is the 171st prospect on our draft big board.