In the summer of 2006, the world was introduced to Vince Papale when the movie Invincible told the story of his improbable transition from 30-year-old bartender to wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles. Twelve years later, the country finally gets to see the sequel. But this sequel isn’t a movie, and it opens only to limited audiences in two weeks.
Delaware WO Vinny Papale, who racked up 36 catches for 618 yards (17.2 ypc) and six touchdowns for the Blue Hens (7-5) this season, will begin his campaign for a slot in the 2019 NFL Draft in Fort Worth next month. While he won’t be drafted ahead of Arizona State’s N’Keal Harry or Mississippi’s A.J. Brown, a good week in the Metroplex could help him climb into the Day 3 conversation or at least establish him as a priority free agent (PFA).
The ITL Scouting Department gave him a PFA grade. Our scouts touted his hands and ability to “snatch it and . . . catch outside his frame and extend for the grab.” They also called him a “good short to intermediate route runner.” On the other hand, his size, length and leaping ability are only “adequate,” according to our evaluators, though they liked his instincts and “ability to get the job done without top-level traits.” In other words, it sounds like he’s a chip off the ol’ block.
Papale is just one of more than 150 players that will attempt to be a crowd-pleaser and build an audience with NFL teams. Here are a few others worth watching with popcorn and Sno-Caps at the ready.
- Grant Kraemer, QB, Drake: Ryan Hollern of the ITL Scouting Department (now with the AAF’s Salt Lake City franchise) liked Kraemer’s size, touch and release (“gets it out quick”) in an evaluation turned in early this season.
- Kameron Lewis, WO, St. Francis (PA): Hollern likes Lewis as a possible late-rounder, citing his “frame, well-proportioned and athletic build” and “long arms.” He also liked Lewis’ “ball skills and playmaking ability.”
- Chad Hovasse, WO, Adams St.: A scout we talked to said Hovasse has the tools to play in the league, though he’s still got plenty of development ahead. He’s a big receiver (6-1/215) who dominated Division II.
We’ve got 18 more names of top players in this year’s CGS, and we’ll be listing them in today’s Friday Wrap (register for it here). The list includes four quarterbacks, four running backs, nine wide receivers and more. In all, we’ll have about 170 players hitting, throwing, rushing, interviewing and whatever else NFL teams want to see from Jan. 5-9.
And don’t forget — if you are interested in scouting and evaluation, we’ll also have Cowboys Assistant Director of College Scouting Chris Hall and others speaking at the CGS Scouting Workshop Presented by Inside the League. We hope to see you there.