At 6-2, 225 pounds, Dan Vitale, who ran a 4.60 40 at the Combine, has a lot of physical gifts. Indeed, the Northwestern draft hopeful was a backfield terror during his tenure in Evanston, catching 135 passes for 1,427 yards and 11 touchdowns and also opening up holes for tailbacks in the running game.
In today’s NFL, you’re not going to find many offensive specialists. Players have to be able to do a lot of things. Vitale can – and that just might help him carve out a career.
“Yeah, absolutely,” Vitale said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “I think that even though I’m listed as a fullback, a lot of teams see me as more of this H-back. I think versatility is incredibly important. Being able to not only just go smash faces with somebody in the hole, but being able to go on play-action and make them think you’re going to do that and break out into the flat and catch a pass and get up field, it creates a lot of different situations and it really makes you an offensive weapon if you can do things like that. I think that’s the route that you’re trying to move towards. Not everyone has one, but at the same time, I think it’s hard to find players like us who can do a lot of different things and have the size-speed combo.”
Vitale, who has great hands, has gotten different feedback from different teams regarding his NFL future.
“Everybody kind of sees me as having a different role,” he said. “One team might think I’m more of a true fullback and I have my hand in the dirt in the backfield and I got to go pass protect and everything like that. And then there’s other teams out there who see me as even a third-down back and being able to do something like that and motion me out of the backfield to get me in open space where I can run some routes. It really depends on the team I talk to. That’s where I think that versatility I have comes into play. I’m not stuck into one role. I’m able to do a lot of different things, so it really just depends on what system I end up in.”