Every year NFL teams hope to get a few steals in the draft. In 2013, the Kansas City Chiefs selected Mike Catapano in the seventh round and while it’s still too early to tell, Catapano could indeed be considered a steal for the Chiefs.
Catapano played college football at Princeton, which right off the bat doesn’t scream NFL to most people. His college stats speak for themselves though, as Catapano managed 12 sacks during his final season at Princeton. He was also named the Ivy League’s Defensive Player of the Year (Source: Randy Covitz of the Wichita Eagle).
Before his days at Princeton, Catapano played both fullback and defensive end, with more emphasis on the fullback position. He ended up switching to the defensive side of the ball in college.
When the Chiefs drafted Catapano, they were going to have him transition to the linebacker position. According to Randy Covitz of the Wichita Eagle, which I linked to above, Catapano talked to pass rushing gurus Tamba Hali and Justin Houston during the preseason. He ended up staying in the defensive end position and also took part on special teams.
While Catapano is young and still proving himself, he had a fairly impressive first season for a seventh round pick. He may not have had off the wall stats, but he played in 15 games during his rookie year. Catapano was able to record two tackles and one sack. His lone sack came against the Raiders when he was able to sack quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
It’s difficult for a seventh round pick to prove himself in the NFL, but Mike Catapano seems to be a good fit in Kansas City. Yes, it’s still early, but let’s see how this kid does in 2014. Who knows? He might be Kansas City’s draft day steal for 2013.
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