Bucs Bag A Fullback In Sixth Round

April 30th, 2016

vitaleTampa Bay entered the draft in need of a fullback. That’s not just Joe talking. Dirk Koetter said the position was a definite position of need back at the NFL owners meetings.

And the Bucs got one, drafting Dan Vitale out of Northwestern this afternoon in Round 6.

From NFL.com:

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.

Speaking after the draft, Bucs general manager Jason Licht called Vitale a tough Chicago kid and praises his versatility. Licht noted his special teams prowess and that he played some tight end in college.

58 Responses to “Bucs Bag A Fullback In Sixth Round”

  1. cometowin2 Says:

    Nice. Called this one.

  2. Rod Munch Says:

    Great article about him on Yahoo sports,

  3. Trubucfan22 Says:

    Great pick! Wanted him more than gronk jr. Doug should see a lot more day lifht running behind a n experienced fullback (no offense to Lane, but he play DE in college)

  4. Bird Says:

    Only healthy fullback on team. That s 4 starters for licht again

  5. Trubucfan22 Says:

    The second Grandslam is complete!

  6. Miko Says:

    Not sure of today’s picks except this guy. Awesome choice…

  7. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Hands must be made of sticky paper.

  8. cometowin2 Says:

    Great finish! Picked 3 of the players. Spence, Aguayo and Vitale. Just wish we had taken Roberto with the 5th rounder.

    Got 4 starters and could be 5 if the tackle pulls a Kwon.

  9. feelthepewterpower Says:

    A more athletic version of Alstott???

  10. I know why Says:

    So thankfully you all like him so much and 31 GMs have passed on him. He’s a fullback. A dinosaur position in the league. Grandslam for Licht again? I thought lovie had the personnel control, he was the one that wanted Winston the most in the building. That’s what stroud has reported and said on the radio

  11. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    After researching this guy? I get the sense he wants to redefine the Fullback roll.

    I have a really good feeling about “Superback”

  12. BuccaneerBonzai Says:


  13. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    Did Daniel Lasco get drafted yet? And the Bucs are waiting to see who doesn’t get drafted to pick up a few more!!??

    And I love Vitale..and look at his Twitter..he wants a Super Bowl win…and wants to bring the help to Tampa..first one mentioning SB…well second, Aguayo did too..

  14. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    People can wear capes to games when he plays, lol.

  15. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    What’s his twitter handle?

  16. Rod Munch Says:

    @RealDannyVitale on Twitter

  17. lurker Says:

    muscle hamster and now muscle pony? muscle stallion?

  18. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    Lifey likes this guy..he was mentioned here quite a few times..but lifey also likes that he is good to her eyes..I need that in this time of my life..

  19. lurker Says:

    what are his measurables?

  20. unbelievable Says:


  21. lurker Says:

    the muscle mammals

  22. martinii Says:

    I got 2 right. Spence and Vitale. Its Miller Time.

  23. CAN'T FIX IT Says:

    The RB- Train

  24. Scurvy Dogs Says:

    Licht says they drafted Ryan Smith to play safety…interesting

  25. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    I just read where he said he was hoping the Bucs would be the ones to call him..Wow..I already love him!

    And he doesn’t want to be called Dan, but Danny..

  26. Rod Munch Says:

    6-1, 240-pound, ran a 4.60 40, did 30 reps at 225, 20-yard shuttle was fastest among all running backs, 60-yard shuttle was faster than WR Will Fuller, vertical would have been in the top 5 of any positional group. Measurables are off the chart with the guy.

  27. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Oh Danny Boy…..the Bucs, the Bucs are calling!!!

  28. Stanglassman Says:

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Vitale in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, 197th overall.

    Although he’s a fullback, it’s still slightly surprising Vitale fell this far. He’s proven as a pass catcher to the point that he could probably log some snaps at tight end, or at least h-back, and he showed at the Combine that he has the athleticism to do something once he has the ball. At 6-foot-1, 239 pounds, Vitale ran a 4.60 40 and showed even more explosiveness with a 38.5-inch vertical and 123-inch broad jump.

    Roto’s write up

  29. Rod Munch Says:

    Not sure why he’s listed as a FB, do a search and all his highlights are him catching the ball, he caught I believe 135 balls in his college career. The guy looks like a professional wrestler, if he can’t make the Bucs at least he doesn’t have far to drive to go to the WWE dev center in Orlando.

  30. The bucfan 88 Says:

    Omg how the heck this kid got passed up this kid is a monster he not only can catch the ball he looks to punish anybody in his way

  31. MadMax Says:

    Yep, loving this pick…..couldve had WR Mike Thomas over Bond though. But this is one I think will work out.

  32. Tackleblockwin Says:

    Can’t wait to see how we use him. He is gonna open up play action more for us when we are in two back sets with a FB. I will be mostly interested in seeing how well he does when needing to block. He has fantastic hands and I think has the potential to earn a nickname that fans chant every time he get the ball.

  33. Guzzie Says:

    If Ryan Smith is a Safety he’s already the best safety we have by far, and most of us, if not all of us, never hard the mans name till today, and quite a few of us keep up with most sleeper lists and combine results, if anyone is the Kwon of this draft it’s him, but Bond is by far the biggest reach made us, we all forget he picked a kicker in the 2nd, well almost forgot

  34. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Scurvy they saying he played two years cb and two years of safety. Smith is who I am most intrigued by. That 4.4 speed really shows.

  35. Stanglassman Says:

    MadMax- think of Bond as a DE not LB.

    The Bucs have more insight than any other team on Thomas and chose not to pick him.

  36. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    This one was easy. I think most posters here had us going fullback with the last pick. My call was better! The trade chart said we could use our 3rd and Bears 4th to trade up around the NE picks! Nailed it!! Sorry, I’m just channeling my inner Commish and Connor Cook! Lol!

  37. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Guzzie when he kicks the first of many game winners you’ll remember again.

  38. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    I agree Stang Bond looks like a str8 pass rusher.

  39. Scurvy Dogs Says:

    @ Nole

    If we’re going to play press man, we will need his speed. I really like this pick.

  40. Stanglassman Says:

    I sounds like the Bucs would have drafted WR MoBo if the viking didn’t get him in the 6th. Koetter said a WR got picked a few above their pick they were going to take and that was the only WR taken just above them

  41. BucsFanInChicago Says:

    As a lifelong Bucs fan and Northwestern alum who has watched Vitale’s full career, I am so f-ing excited about the pick! He’s gonna be a matchups nightmare! And a great locker room guy. Go Bucs!!! Go ‘Cats!!!!!

  42. Stanglassman Says:

    Reading between the lines on the last question re: DT to Licht at the presser it sounds like the Bucs were going to take Rankins if NYG got VH3 when they moved down.

  43. Fnerd Says:

    I’ve watched him for four years. Yes, I bleed NU kitty kat blue. DV is a great baller anywhere Coach Fitz sticks him. Reminds me a lot of former Viking Jimmy Kleinsasser.

  44. DallasBuc Says:

    Really hope he gets reps at tight end. Runs great routes and catches everything. Can’t say that about anyone on our receiving corps.
    Great pick as long as he makes the team

  45. FortMyersDave Says:

    Looks like a steal for the Bucs. Versatile kid with a lot of upside!

  46. Brandon Says:

    Quick prediction-This guy will receive cult-like status due to his athleticism, build, and complexion. He’ll be compared to Alstott for the same reasons as well as his MidWest, Chicago hometown. Not saying he won’t deserve it…but Alstott was a pretty good player, not Hall of Fame material by any means, but don’t tell that to a lot of Buc fans, they think he was the greatest ever. This guy has a shot to be pretty good in the passing game though but like Alstott he will need to eventually get the lead blocking thing down.

  47. Buc-Naked Says:

    Love this pick!!!!

    Side note: STOP CALLING Doug Martin Muscle Hamster…He doesn’t like it. Not to mention that it sounds WEAK as hell! He is our DUGGERNAUT!

  48. Mike Johnson Says:

    Dude appears to be committed. That’s a good thing! Lppk guys, you never know. He could be the next..Allstott or Larry Z…Give him a chance..first.
    He loves football. Depends on how WE..feature him.

  49. cmurda Says:

    This was a great pick but I’m mildly surprised we didn’t draft a WR late. Either there was nobody we were interested in or we have someone in our crosshairs that’s an undrafted FA. I can’t imagine going into the year with Murphy coming back from a major injury, Dye who has the speed but that’s about it, Bell ( complete question mark), Shepard (meh) and Humphries. As it stands now it would likely go Evans, V Jax and Hump. with lots of unknowns at 4 and 5.

  50. cmurda Says:

    Brandon, I’ll agree to completely disagree. First of all, let’s not go there with the race thing. Warrick Dunni s one of my all-time favorite Bucs and he was and still is absolutely beloved here. Not only for his supreme work on the field but the many charitable endeavors such as giving several hundred homes to single parents. Alstott was also one of my favorites. The reality is the vast majority of us love our Bucs regardless of race. D Brooks, Barber, Lynch, Rice the list goes on and on. To truly appreciate Alstott all you have to do is see some epic clips. He was obviously more of a RB than FB but he was a beast. I still remember the run for about a 4 yd TD against the Vikings where he literally dragged 4 Vikes into the endzone with him. Anyway, Alstott was an easy player to like as was several others.

  51. LifeOfABucFan Says:

    This kid Vitale..first words out from him was ” I want to bring Tampa a Super Bowl”…

    I like him…no I don’t like him..I freaking love him..look at the intensity he plays..it’s like he could have gone in 3rd round..but he didn’t..I thank God the football Gods we got him..apparently other teams had really wanted him in later rounds..

    Jontavius is the other undrafted we picked up..great guy, active with his new fans on twitter..wants to win big..

    I’m excited…great draft..

  52. ARGH_M8E Says:

    It’s a bromance already idc what any of u say… Alstott & Blount r the 2 RB jerseys I have, sheeeeeeiiiit… I love a power back, alstott was “up the gut!!!” sounds to me like Danny boy is the “SUPER-BACK” and I’m digging that handle for sure… His hands even more, a handful to handle, a pass catching machine that straight trucks fools! reminds me of a Cypress Hill lyric… “Rollin like a Mac truck that’s stolen” f’n awesome baaaaaaby!

  53. WelshBuc Says:

    We don’t know how they’ll turn out yet, but I think this was my most enjoyable draft ever – we already had our QB, so the pressure seemed off. I’ve never celebrated a pick as much as Spence and Vitale (The V-Train?). I was hoping since before Christmas that we’d draft him and there were reports that we were interested in the build up.

    With the drafting of VH3, Spence, Aguayo & Vitale, it seemed like the players were selected by Bucs fans.

    Wish the season could start already… Go Bucs!!

  54. MarineBucsFan Says:

    This Vitale kid could change the game. Fast, Powerful, and Soft Hands!! “Superback” welcome to the NFL!! Go Bucs

  55. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Dan Vitale is a hybrid Fullback. He operates as a FB, HB and a TE. Hence the term “Superback”.

    “Superback” is the only suitable nickname for this guy.

    Think about it…fans can wear capes to games in support of him. He does it all. Catch. Run. Block. Runs good routes. Has the fire to succeed. Perfect for Jameis.

    This guy is going to be a fan fav. He’s not Mike Alstott, but he looks like him on the field…and he’ll be just as popular.

  56. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    He was called a “Superback” in college too.

  57. Sumo Says:

    This guy can block well downfield, holds blocks well, and can lead block. He was tested protecting the passer and looked good at this too. He runs tough too but the best part of his game is he is a great receiver. I think we may be looking at our next tight end in some sets and lead blocker in other sets. His versatility is off the charts. He looks like a real find and it looks like the Bucs are creating a new offensive position in football. I love it.

  58. DavidBigBucsFan Says:

    This guy is something else when he has the ball in his hands. Will make a big difference this season. Quite possibly will give us 4 starters from this draft class.