Finding a Fits: A versatile fullback — yes, fullback — should hint a Bucs

(This is partial of a array — Finding a Fits — in that will examination a some-more intriguing picks done during a 2016 NFL Draft. The idea is to brand one comparatively unheralded actor per group who appears to be a good schematic fit and, therefore, some-more approaching to be a warn writer early in his pro career.)

Tampa Bay’s best fit: Dan Vitale, H-back, Northwestern, No. 197 overall

As a NFL increasingly shifts towards a pass, anticipating versatile receivers able of formulating mismatches has turn something of an art.

For some teams, a diversification of pass-catchers has remained mostly during a far-reaching receiver position, where transparent lines have been drawn between a earthy attributes approaching of separate ends, flankers and container receivers.

Other clubs have extended a hybrid proceed to parsimonious ends and receivers out of a backfield, one of a several roles that Vitale played as a supposed “superback” for a Wildcats.

At 6-foot-1, 239 pounds Vitale (pronounced vuh-TAL-ee) looks like a classical fullback and he will approaching be asked to play this purpose on arise for a Bucs, with a club’s obligatory lead blocker Jorvorskie Lane now unsigned. Vitale competence miss Lane’s dust retard build (5-11, 258), though he is an alert, rival blocker with organic and weight room strength. Given his compact, heavily muscled frame, it wasn’t a slightest bit startling that he posted 30 repetitions of 225 pounds during a combine.

Dan Vitale is not your normal lead-blocking fullback.

Rather than “just” offer as a standard tellurian sledgehammer during fullback as Lane did, however, Vitale offers a good understanding some-more flexibility, generally in a flitting game. Vitale was mostly flexed out far-reaching during Northwestern, where his deceiving speed and straight-line speed done him a Wildcats’ many arguable pass catcher. Vitale averaged 2.7 receptions a competition over his 50 diversion career, withdrawal Northwestern with 135 grabs for 1,427 yards and 11 scores during that time. Lane, on a other hand, held 3 passes for a sum 16 yards in 25 games a past dual seasons in Tampa.

It isn’t that a Bucs and their immature quarterback Jameis Winston miss for receiving options. Mike Evans is approaching to rebound behind from his sophomore unemployment to emerge as a club’s transparent No. 1 option. Veteran wideout Vincent Jackson, gifted (but oft-injured) parsimonious finish Austin Seferian-Jenkins and a using behind twin of Doug Martin and Charles Sims any offer superb healthy receiving skills.

Capable of backing adult in a backfield, on a wing, or in a slot, Vitale would give new conduct manager Dirk Koetter a moveable chess square on offense and yield Winston with a confidence sweeping for his second NFL season. Vitale competence be generally useful in a red zone, where notwithstanding ranking fifth in a NFL in sum yardage (at 374.4 yards per game), a Bucs’ offense mostly sputtered a year ago, checking in during only 20th in scoring during 21.4 points per game.

“He’s indeed kind of a condense player,” Koetter pronounced when describing his newest fondle on offense. “There’s so few fullbacks that (play) how we wish to use them, so Dan is kind of a slash, we know, some of those colleges use what they call an H-back. We’re going to use him as partial fullback, partial parsimonious finish and I’m vehement to see what it looks like.”

Other thoughts on a Buccaneers’ 2016 breeze class:

While Vitale competence yield a best value of a Bucs draft, there is no jealous that cornerback Vernon Hargreaves (first round) and corner rusher Noah Spence (second) were a club’s many critical selections. Each fill poignant needs and are approaching to start immediately.

Hargreaves, a three-time All-SEC pick, offers superb quickness, instincts and toughness — traits that element maestro Brent Grimes, who was brought in to boost a delegate that surrendered 20 some-more touchdowns than interceptions a year ago and authorised an normal of 26.1 points per diversion — some-more than any group that done a playoffs final season.

Of course, it is easy to stop hostile quarterbacks with an softened pass rush and a 6-2, 251-pound Spence should yield accurately that. Spence possesses a detonate and hook to infer a apprehension off a edge, complementing a giveaway representative further of Robert Ayers and Tampa’s obligatory Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.

Spence competence not post ostentatious statistics in other categories though he should infer an evident impact rusher. The media loves sacks and Spence has shown a knack for collecting them. Don’t be astounded if he winds adult heading all rookies in this category, creation him a legitimate Defensive Rookie of a Year candidate, generally if an softened invulnerability helps Tampa emerge as a picturesque playoff contender.

While a selections of Hargreaves, Spence and Vitale were mostly applauded since they filled pivotal areas of need and were viewed to be good values where they were selected, Licht and a Bucs lifted eyebrows by trade divided third (No. 74 overall) and fourth (106) turn picks to pierce behind into a second turn to seize placekicker Robert Aguayo during No. 59 overall.

Clearly, a Bucs paid a large cost for Aguayo though it should be remarkable how badly Tampa Bay struggled in this area a year ago. Kyle Brindza and Connor Barth common placekicking duties for a Bucs final year, mixing to modify 29 of Tampa’s 40 margin idea attempts, a 72.5 percent shave that ranked 30th in a NFL. Only a New Orleans Saints (69 percent) and then-St. Louis Rams (68 percent) fared worse. All 3 clubs ranked good behind a 29th group (Atlanta), that converted 81 percent of a margin idea attempts. The Bucs weren’t that most improved when it came to converting PATs, blank 3 (to arrange 26th in a NFL) final year.

With a NFL stability a extended PAT, correctness in a middle operation for kickers has never been some-more important. The reasons because a Aguayo preference make clarity are not only numerical. Never mind that Aguayo comes with a career execution commission of 88.5 percent and has never missed a margin idea inside of 40 yards or a singular PAT over 3 seasons in Tallahassee. He also is used to personification in high-pressure games for a perennially contending Seminoles and is gentle kicking in a wet continue conditions of a area.

Tampa Bay’s 2016 breeze class:

  • 1st Round, No. 11 overall: CB Vernon Hargreaves, Florida
  • 2ndRound, No. 39 overall: Edge Noah Spence, Eastern Kentucky
  • 2nd Round, No. 59 overall: K Robert Aguayo, Florida State
  • 4th Round, No. 108 overall: DB North Carolina Central
  • 5thRound, No. 148 overall: OT Caleb Benenoch, UCLA
  • 6th Round, No. 183 overall: LB Devante Bond, Oklahoma
  • 6th Round, No. 197 overall: H-back Dan Vitale

Key Undrafted Free Agents Signed:

  • RB Peyton Barber, Auburn
  • TE Kivon Cartwright, Colorado State
  • RB Russell Hansbrough, Missouri
  • LB Cassanova McKinzy, Aub

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