This past Wednesday, a collection of NFL Draft prospects with ties to the Philadelphia area showed their skills to the Eagles coaches and scouts at the team's local pro day. For many this was their final chance before the draft next weekend to prove that they deserve to have their name announced as a 2019 draft pick, or at the very least earn an invite to training camp.
One of those players who attended the local pro day is former Delaware wide receiver Vinny Papale. The former Blue Hen and son of Eagles legend Vince Papale was kind enough to answer some of our questions about his background and what his draft preparation and process has been like.
Any current players on the Eagles you’ve watched/tried to model your game after?
I mean I guess he isn’t a current player anymore but recently was, but I watched Jordan Matthews pretty closely and have tried to model my game after him. He is a bigger body receiver who plays physical in the slot but also has the ability to play outside and make plays downfield. He is a very versatile receiver and is someone I definitely have tried to model my game after.
Favorite moment/play from your college football days? My favorite play from my college career was a touchdown I caught in the 3rd quarter of the Towson game this past year. It was a post and I caught it in the back of the end zone with 8 guys directly under me, I just managed to sneak behind all of them.
Do you have any pre-game rituals? Right before we head out for kickoff I do something called “square breathing” and try to visualize making plays in the game. “Square breathing”’ is a breathing exercise where you breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, and you do it 4 times.
Favorite moment/experience during this draft process? My favorite experience during this draft process was training down in Florida with a bunch of people who were going through the same thing. It’s pretty cool to be surrounded by and work with people who all have a common goal.
Have any plans for the draft? Party/stay alone and isolated? I have no real plans for the draft I just plan to be with my family and hopefully I get a call!
If you get drafted by the Eagles or end up in their training camp, who are you most excited to be teammates with/potentially face in practice? If I were to end up with the Eagles I would be most excited to be teammates with Carson Wentz. Even though we are different positions I draw a lot of comparison between me and him because we both came from a FCS school and both have dealt with injury in the past. I also see him as an extremely hard worker and a great leader and would love to be surrounded by that.
Do you have a plan for life after football/is there a certain career you want to start after you hang up your cleats? As far as a life after football I think I want to get into Real Estate. My mom has been a real estate agent in Philadelphia for over 30 years so I have always been surrounded by it and have helped her with her properties in the city since I have been a kid and I have really grown to love it.
If/when you make an NFL roster, what’s the first thing you’re buying after signing your contract? The first thing I am buying if I make an NFL roster is probably going to be a custom suit that I can wear when we travel to away games.
Of course everyone's first thoughts when hearing his name is that he's the son of a former Eagle. But Papale has started his own path through this draft process, and if the Eagles give him a call next weekend, he'll have an opportunity to build on his own legacy. Maybe Vinny will even get some bragging rights in his household if he can put up some better numbers than his dad. Disney does love creating sequels to their movies, so Eagles fans will be rooting for Papale to be great and earn his own Invincible Part II movie.