Photo of Dan Vitale
Drafted By: Buccaneers

Combine Results

Grade
5.0 ?
  • 4.60 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 30 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 38.5 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 123.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.12 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.12 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 11.36 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Combine Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

Vitale is an H-back candidate because of his receiving ability. He's skilled enough to push Javorskie Lane for a roster spot if the Bucs only want one fullback on their roster. --Mark Dulgerian

  • 6'1" Height
  • 31 3/4" Arm Length
  • 239LBS. Weight
  • 9 3/4" Hands

Overview

Northwestern's "superback" is a one-of-a-kind position in college football, and Vitale's (vuh-TAL-ee) intelligence, size, physicality, and receiving skills were made to fill that role. He’s consistently been a part of the passing game during his career (102 receptions for over 1,000 yards and seven scores his first three years), and when the Wildcats want to focus on the run, Vitale can open up holes for running backs from an H-back or in-line spot. He capped off his career with a second-team All-Big Ten effort in 2015, leading the team with 33 receptions for 355 yards and a career-high four scores.

Analysis

Strengths

Utilized at versatile "superback" position during his time at Northwestern. Has shown ability to line up in slot, from behind center and all points in ­between. Runs better routes than many of the wide outs in this draft. Able to catch throws in traffic and take the hit. Shows no hesitation to stick his nose in the hole and into his intended target as a blocker. Generally solid radar as a blocker. Consistently lands his strikes inside the framework of defender. Team-oriented and highly coachable leader.

Weaknesses

Might be considered a too small for teams looking for a classic lead blocker. Thickly muscled and maxed out frame with little room for additional, functional mass. Missing length and overall mass to get into defender and control him throughout the rep. Not a true thumper as iso ­blocker. Slows feet at point of contact rather than accelerating through his intended target with force. Lacking desired athleticism outside of his frame to sustain as move blocker. Despite his plus route running, doesn’t have quickness out of breaks to gain separation as a receiver.

Draft Projection

Round 7 or priority free agent

NFL Comparison

James Casey

Bottom Line

Four-year starter who brings a great work ethic and leadership qualities to the table. Vitale's tape shows a multi-­dimensional player who may fit in with the changing face of hybrid football, but he doesn't really have an element of his game that he can hang his hat on as a true strength by NFL standards. Vitale can do many things for a team, but can he do them at a high level? Vitale's special teams play could be instrumental in making a team’s roster.
-Lance Zierlein
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster

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