King-sized tight end Cottam joins Chiefs
Winston Luzier - AP
Winston Luzier - AP
Warpaint Illustrated Contributor
Posted Apr 27, 2008

Brad Cottam, the Chiefs second third-round pick on Sunday, is a giant of a tight end. At 6-foot-7 and 269 pounds, he’s reminiscent of former Chiefs tight end Jason Dunn. He has little experience catching the football, however. In four years at Tennessee, Cottam caught only 21 passes.

"Most people see my size and think of me as a guy who is going to be able to block.” said Cottam. “I think it's hard, especially in the NFL, to find someone who can block."

Apparently, Cottam is on the same wavelength as the Chiefs front office and Vice President of Player Personnel Bill Kuharich.

“He’s a blocking tight end,” said Kuharich. “That’s why we drafted him. We have our receiving tight end and this guy is a very good blocker.”

It’s no secret that the Chiefs love to run the ball, and they love to do it from double tight-end formations. Dunn had been the designated blocking tight end over the past several seasons, but with his release Michael Allan was the only other tight end remaining from the 2007 roster, and he’s one year removed from blocking Division III competition.

While Cottam is known as a super-sized tight end with an NFL-ready blocking game, he may have the talent to develop into a good receiver. And who better to learn from than the tight end that’s caught more passes than any other in NFL history? Cottam is looking forward to working with Tony Gonzalez.

"I think that would be a great situation to go in there and have someone who has been to all of those Pro Bowls who can teach you everything," said Cottam. "You can't play forever, so eventually you get to have the chance to fill their shoes and use what you learned from them."

Cottam and Gonzalez also both played basketball in college, though not at the same level. The Tennessee intramural league may be competitive, but it’s not quite the Pac-10.

“I’ve already been warned not to challenge him,” said Cottam. “But the last time I played basketball I won the intramural championship at Tennessee.”

Cottam possesses good speed to complement his size. He ran a 4.65 40-yard dash at the NFL combine and ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. said Cottam had first-round talent.

Chiefs coach Herm Edwards said Cottam was drafted for his blocking ability, but indicated he might be capable of more.

“He didn’t catch the ball a lot,” said Edwards. “But if you look at the guy he has a lot of speed. He can run, (he’s) athletic, and a tough guy.”

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