KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City Chiefs picked Princeton’s Mike Catapano in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL draft because in college he showed some pass-rush skills.
It turned out the Chiefs never found a way to utilize those skills. They gave up on Catapano over the weekend when they released him.
The signs were ominous for Catapano when he was a rookie. The Chiefs initially tried him at outside linebacker but, signalling they were confused about what was best for him, later that season switched him to defensive end.
He missed all of last season with a viral condition but after his return this year failed to show he belonged.
“I think if you were running a 4-3 and you put Mike as a rush defensive end, hand in the dirt, get yourself up the field and go, that’s what he’s going to hook on with, a team like that,’’ coach Andy Reid said. “He always fought to keep his weight up and all that so he could be inside there and he would get bounced around a little bit on the inside.
“If we were playing a 4-3 and he could just charge from there ...‘’
But the Chiefs are a 3-4 defense and eventually felt Catapano wasn’t a good fit. The Chiefs opted instead for Nick Williams, drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the same round and the same draft as Catapano. The Chiefs pulled Williams off Pittsburgh’s practice squad last year.
“The beauty of it was Nick Williams I think did a fantastic job,’’ general manager John Dorsey said. “I think he demonstrated he can play multiple positions ... and he can help you along the way. At the end of the day we decided to go with Nicholas Williams and I think it’s a good choice.’’