Vinny Papale was one of the most well-known players heading into the 2019 NFL Draft, but not because of his talent. As many people know, Vinny’s dad, Vince Papale, played in the NFL for three seasons and his story inspired the famous movie Invincible. Even though a lot of individuals associate Vinny with his dad, people should get to know him because of his talent as a football player.
Coming out of high school, Vinny said he was not recruited as much as he hoped but found an opportunity at the University of Delaware. Teams such as Temple and Penn State showed interest but never fully committed enough to give him an offer.
At the University of Delaware, Vinny faced a lot of injury trouble. During his first season at UD, Vinny broke his leg. He recovered, thankfully, but unfortunately tore both his MCL and ACL during his sophomore season. Both of those injuries can devastate someone’s career, let alone them happening a season apart. Aside from the injuries, Papale had a successful college career.
.@DelawareFB WR @vinny_papale has made some big plays for the #BlueHens this season. All 11 of his catches have been for 1st Downs and 6 of those catches have come on 3rd Down & 9 or longer.#BlueHens pic.twitter.com/ZXE2MeCan4
— Blue Hens Radio (@BlueHensRadio) October 6, 2018
During his first year, he was one of the only true freshmen to see the field, even though it was mostly special teams. During his sophomore season, before the injury, he started every game at receiver and even returned some punts, as well. Vinny’s junior season was his first season without an injury and played in every game, although he only started one. His first three seasons were not too impressive, but his senior season is when Vinny started to become an NFL prospect. In his final collegiate season, Papale posted 36 catches, 618 yards, and six touchdowns. With no injuries holding him back, Vinny was able to showcase his talent throughout the entire season.
Due to his injury history and lack of production early, Vinny said some scouts that he talked too did not even know who he was until late his senior season. Vinny himself recognizes that injuries were an issue during his college career.
“I am definitely no stranger to injury, and it is no fun being injured but it taught me a lot and mad me a better player” said Papale.
Instead of giving up as many people would, Vinny knew that he would always get back on the field and make the most of every opportunity he got.
Vinny declared for the 2019 NFL Draft and hoped to be drafted or a priority free agent. Unfortunately for him, neither of those things happened. Even though he was not signed as an undrafted free agent, Vinny was invited to two rookie minicamps, one with the Washington Redskins and the other with the Oakland Raiders.
— Jamual (@_AyyMual) May 11, 2019
As if he has not faced enough adversity already, Vinny was not signed after either rookie minicamp. Even though he was not signed, he is still hopeful to catch onto a team for training camp.
“After my performance during the minicamps and the feedback I have gotten I feel pretty confident that I will be getting a call before or during the training camps” said Papale.
With a drive to be in the NFL, passion for the sport of football, and making the most of every opportunity he gets, it should only be a matter of time before Vinny gets a call from an NFL team for a training camp invite. Once Vinny gets his shot during training camp, he could be a surprise to make the practice squad or potentially the 53-man roster. He also participated in the XFL showcase in Washington, D.C. earlier this year.
If Vinny did not play football, then he said he would have joined the Navy or would have pursued a career in real estate.
You can follow Vinny on Twitter here, to keep up with his life and NFL adventure. Best of luck to Vinny and we hope to see you in a training camp this summer!