Bowl games have begun and with the college football postseason in full gear, it’s time for another week of Dylan’s Dimes!
Dylan’s Dimes will be a ten step breakdown of three of the biggest draft eligible players taking the field in some of the biggest matchups each week. I analyze background, on the field performance, off the field traits, opinions around the NCAA, all leading up to the dropping the dime on how they could fit with gang green.
Despite the Washington Huskies rocky season, one player’s continued success is a major takeaway. This player received All-Pac-12 honors in the 2020 season and has grown into both a success on and off the field. Now this versatile tight end with exceptional potential will make for an interesting prospect as he prepares for the 2021 draft, he is TE, Cade Otton.
A recently named first team All-American safety has all the talent to be a star safety at the next level. Not to mention he’s got an absurdly high football IQ and is currently an architect of Alabama’s successful defense for the second straight season. This player is S, Jordan Battle.
Rounding us out this week is an absolute monster of a man. He towers over and throttles opposing competition. Not only that, but despite his size he’s a strong athlete and incredibly intelligent player. This week’s final player going through the wringer is OL, Daniel Faalele.
-From: Tumwater, WA
-From: Fort Lauderdale, FL
-From: Melbourne, Australia
Cade Otton was an all-state recipient playing tight end, linebacker and long snapper for Tumwater High School. Otton had 107 tackles, 10 TFLs and 3 sacks in his senior year, as well as setting school records with 95 receptions, 1,705 yards and 33 touchdowns. Otton played basketball as well. Otton was rankęd as ESPN’s No.22 TE in the nation. Otton ultimately decided to stay in state and attend Washington where he earned awards such as “Ultimate Bird Dawg”, “Most Outstanding Freshman” and the offensive MVP in 2020. This year Otton received the award for Most Inspirational, the most prestigious honor that Washington dons out each year.
Jordan Battle was a highly touted safety prospect from St. Thomas Aquinas High School. Battle was ranked as one of the top 100 prospects in the country by ESPN and one of the top five safeties in the nation. Battle had 27 tackles, a TFL, a sack and 3 INTs in his senior year. Battle also played basketball in high school. Battle quickly worked his way into the defensive back rotation, earning four starts in his freshman year. Battle won a national title in 2020 and played a key role in the Crimson Tide’s success. This season, he helped lead the Tide to the playoff and he was recently recognized as an All-American for his contributions.
Daniel Faalele was born in Melbourne, Australia before coming to the states and enrolling at IMG Academy. In his first season playing in 2017, Faalele helped lead the team to an undefeated campaign. He was ranked the No.22 OT in the nation and received a bid to the Under Armour All America Game. Despite playing just two seasons, Faalele received interest from a handful of top programs before choosing to play for PJ Fleck and the Gophers. Faalele started the last eight games of his freshman year and hasn’t looked back.
2020: 4 games, 18 receptions, 258 yards, 14.3 YPC and 3 TDs.
2021: 8 games, 28 receptions, 250 yards, 8.9 YPC and 1 TD.
2020: 12 games, 66 tackles, 3.0 TFLs, 1 INT, 1 TD and 4 PDs.
2021: 13 games, 74 tackles, 1.0 TFL, 3 INTs, 2 TDs and 3 PDs.
2020: *Opted out due to COVID-19*
2021: Started and played in 11 of 11 games.
Otton is a team first guy, that’s part of the reason he was a captain of the team. Another reason is because Otton is not afraid to get dirty, he’s a physical tight end and a more than willing blocker. Otton’s athleticism allowed him to be the lead blocker in a handful of big plays, and his physicality allowed him to take down men larger than him. Otton also has the ideal mold of skills to have immense success as a receiver at the next level. He’s proven to be a high IQ receiver with advanced route running and exceptional body control. Otton also handled 50/50 balls really well and even showed some examples of fighting for and gaining legitimate yards after the catch.
Battle is a playmaker in every meaning of the word. Battle has three touchdowns to this point, constantly tracks the ball and tries to disrupt the play, lays his body on the line to make explosive plays and flies all over the field. Battle has a high football IQ and showed the ability to read the offense well on many occasions. Battle also has proven he has the ability to play in the slot, as a centerfielder, in the box and even at cornerback. He’s got the versatility to do a little bit of everything and the intelligence to match it.
Faalele is a mountain of a man. His combination of length and strength have made him a force to be reckoned with. His length allows him to keep separation well initially, and his strength packs a massive punch that rocks the defender enough to stop him in his tracks. Faalele is relentless and aggressive in run blocking and his size makes him the ideal anchor of an offensive line. His athleticism is promising as he does have good agility that shows up in tape.
The bad with Otton is simply a lack of proven production. You see evidence of a guy who has the skills to be a talented receiver, but then the stats barely catch your eye. Otton stretches the field well and finds crafty ways to garner separation, but his speed is not going to let him breakaway on pure athleticism, and he will have to rely on his technique to have substantial success in that regard. Lastly, Otton’s weight tends to fluctuate and getting above the 255 pound mark could be a good playing weight for him in the future.
Battle is an overzealous and not very technical tackler. Battle loves to swing for the fences and try to make a big play and just like home run hitters in the MLB, his strikeout rate can be high. Battle has been guilty of failing to wrap up and missing tackles, something that could be a detriment at the next level. To follow that up, his timing can be off at times, as another fallback of his home run hitting play style, and this can cause missed opportunities for turnovers or pass breakups at points.
Similar to another international player who has limited experience in David Ojabo, the two of them are both raw players who will require hands on coaching. Faalele, although a solid athlete, has significant balance control issues and with his weight, that could be a potential concern for injuries in the long term. Faalele has issues with diagnosing more advanced pass rush moves and handling more fluid pass rushers. He also doesn’t use his hands as effectively as you’d like.
7/10-The Focus of Improvement:
Faalele: Continue to Show Growth
Otton is willing to put the team first to have success and that’s really encouraging. Otton is willing to do the hard part of the job and enjoys doing it. He’s humble and intelligent and his presence is one many will gravitate towards. As a receiver, there’s room to improve and the hope is he shows a production jump when he gets to the pros. Otton has the mold to be at the very least, a player that commands significant playing time in a tight end rotation, and his ceiling could be a potential starter in his own right.
Battle is coming from an NFL prospect production factory, and what he’s learned will allow him to thrive at the next level. Battle is instinctual and has grown as a leader and a reader (of the defense). Battle needs to improve his tackling and get more consistent. If he can rein that part of his game in and limit the overzealousness, Battle has a chance to be a starter at the next level, and quickly.
Faalele is a safe bet to eventually be a starter at the next level. His size is going to make teams jump for joy and even small glimpses of his athleticism will make a team want to mold him into a top right tackle. Faalele’s landing spot will be the biggest way of gauging his potential, if he lands with a hands on coach who can educate Faalele, then the sky’s the limit and Faalele could be a franchise right tackle. If he lands in the wrong spot though, his size and athleticism could be null and void.
9/10-The Outside Opinion:
“If there’s a better tight end in the country, I’d like to see him.”- Former UW Head Coach Jimmy Lake
“Presumably, Otton’s next stop is April’s NFL draft, where he should be a middle- to high-round draft pick. He’s considered an elite blocker for his position, as well as a proficient receiver.”- Dan Raley, Sports Illustrated
“Whichever team drafts him is getting a day one starter, who will know the ins and outs of the defense. Battle can be relied on to be a defensive captain for the next decade.”- Jack Borowsky, Sports Illustrated
“With size, strength, decent relative athleticism, competitive toughness, and some impressive technical ability, Faalele belies his relative inexperience to be an alluring 2022 NFL Draft prospect.”- Oliver Hodgkinson, Pro Football Network
Otton would be a strong addition to the team. The team has little to no talent at tight end and adding someone who could be an asset as a blocker and has the mold to be a strong receiver would be ideal. Otton excels over the middle and with 50/50 balls. Zach Wilson needs more weapons over the middle of the field to make him comfortable and give him cop outs. Wilson also loves to throw contested balls and Otton’s length makes him a perfect fit for Wilson’s play style. Otton is also a high character guy, and captain, something Joe Douglas values immensely. Otton should be gone in the late second to early third round and if the Jets find him on their board with their second, second round selection or their third, he is worth the look as his value and upside could be alluring.
Jordan Battle is a fun player who will immediately draw attention across the league. His talent on and off the field will make him a likely high selection. Battle could make sense with the New York Jets, but his value could end up being the reason they stay away. Battle has the skills and the IQ to be a first rounder and if the Jets trade down or he falls to the second then they should think about adding him, otherwise Battle is not worth a top 15 pick. Battle is a good fit based on both his versatility and his play making ability. Couple that with the lack of safety depth on the roster and he could make a lot of sense, but based on where he will likely be selected, it’s hard to see him landing in the Green & White.
The Jets spent a high selection on a large lineman who had balance issues but all the potential in the world in Joe Douglas’s first draft as general manager. Mekhi Becton has missed significant time and struggled to recover from injuries or stay in shape. The talent is there, but the durability is not. Now, adding Faalele would be another large man who has balance issues and could spawn injury concerns. Pair that with his inexperience and what would need to be taught and the fit doesn’t make a lot of sense. Faalele has taken big steps up this season and he has been relatively durable, but the NFL is a whole new ballgame and I don’t think the Jets will be able to prepare or coach him well enough for both parties to get a worthwhile return on investment.