Mike Catapano Jr. (born August 17, 1990) is an American football outside linebacker who is currently a free agent. He played college football at Princeton where he majored in psychology.[1] He was drafted in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs, with whom he began his career. After two seasons in Kansas City, he spent two seasons with the New York Jets.

Mike Catapano
Free agent
Position:Outside linebacker
Personal information
Born: (1990-08-17) August 17, 1990 (age 29)
Long Island, New York
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:270 lb (122 kg)
Career information
High school:Chaminade
(Mineola, New York)
NFL Draft:2013 / Round: 7 / Pick: 207
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
  • Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year (2012)
  • First-team All-Ivy (2012)
  • East-West Shrine Game (2013)
Career NFL statistics as of 2016
Total tackles:11
Forced fumbles:0
Player stats at NFL.com

Early yearsEdit

Catapano, nicknamed "The Admiral", was born the son of Mike Sr. and Barbara.[2] He has a younger sister April.[3] He is from Bayville, New York.[2] Catapano began playing football at age 8, when his mother became worried he was being bullied.[4] He attended Chaminade High School in Mineola, New York, where he played more fullback than defensive end.[4] He had three shoulder surgeries in high school, which limited his recruiting potential.[2] According to a 2013 NFL.com report by Gil Brandt, he graduated weighing a 215 pounds (98 kg) and received offers from every Ivy League school.[5] However, according to the class of 2008 databases of the major recruiting websites (ESPN.com, Rivals.com, and Scout.com) who also noted his offers from Army, Temple and Hofstra, he weighed between 234 and 240.[6][7][8] According to the final national class of 2008 rankings, Catapano was the 18th ranked fullback by Scout.com and the 46th ranked fullback according to ESPN.[6][8]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
Mike Catapano
Bayville, New York Chaminade (NY) 6 ft 3.5 in (1.92 m) 237 lb (108 kg) 4.7 Jan 8, 2008 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:    Rivals:    247SportsN/A    ESPN grade: 65
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 18 (FB)   ESPN: 46 (FB)
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.


  • "Princeton Football Commitments". Rivals.com. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
  • "2008 Princeton Football Commits". Scout.com. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
  • "ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
  • "Scout.com Team Recruiting Rankings". Scout.com. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
  • "2008 Team Ranking". Rivals.com. Retrieved May 6, 2013.

College careerEdit

As a freshman, he received a medical redshirt.[2] As a redshirt sophomore, he earned honorable mention All-Ivy League honors.[3] After his junior season in which he earned second team All-Ivy honors, he attended a summer pass rush training camp conducted by Chuck Smith.[2] Over the course of the year, he had 12 quarterback sacks and 15.5 tackles for a loss and participated in the 2013 East–West Shrine Game.[9] His senior thesis was on visual cognition and memory.[2] He was the 2012 Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year.[4] At Princeton, he developed his own catchphrase to live by: "Attack the now".[4] He was an FCS second team All-American according to the Associated Press and third team All-American according to Beyond Sports Network.[10][11]

Professional careerEdit


Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 3 78 in
(1.93 m)
271 lb
(123 kg)
4.75 s 4.31 s 7.09 s 37.5 in
(0.95 m)
9 ft 8 in
(2.95 m)
33 reps
All values from Princeton Pro Day on March 20, 2013.[5]

Princeton held its Pro Day workouts on March 20, 2013 and Catapano had private workouts on March 26 with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Minnesota Vikings.[5] Following his East-West Shrine Game appearance, his private workouts and his pro day workouts, there was speculation that he might be the highest drafted Ivy League athlete.[5] He ended up as the third and final Ivy Leaguer of the 2013 draft, following J. C. Tretter and Kyle Juszczyk.[9]

Kansas City ChiefsEdit

2013 seasonEdit

He was selected by the Chiefs with the first pick of the seventh round and 207th overall selection of the 2013 NFL Draft.[9] He is the first Princeton athlete selected in the NFL Draft since Dennis Norman in the 2001 NFL Draft.[5] Upon being drafted, Catapano was expected to transition to the linebacker position.[12] During the 2013 preseason, he moved back to defensive end.[13] In Week 4, Catapano recorded a tackle against the New York Giants, his first in the NFL.[14][15] In a Week 6 game against the Oakland Raiders, he recorded his first career sack.[16]

2014 seasonEdit

Following the 2014 preseason, Catapano was placed on the Reserve/Non-football injury list.[17] It was later reported that Catapano was fighting a mysterious illness that is still being researched.[18] On September 26, 2014, Catapano was placed on season-ending injured reserve.[19]

On September 5, 2015, Catapano was released by the Chiefs.[20]

New York JetsEdit

2015 seasonEdit

Following his release, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid felt Catapano was better suited to a team that ran a 4–3 defense rather than the Chief's 3–4 defense.[21] On September 8, he was signed to the practice squad by the New York Jets.[22] On November 21, 2015, he was promoted to the active roster when Sheldon Richardson was injured.[23]

2016 seasonEdit

Catapano appeared in 11 games in 2016 with four starts before being placed on injured reserve on December 20, 2016.[24]

Houston TexansEdit

On August 23, 2017, Catapano signed with the Houston Texans.[25] He was released on September 2, 2017.[26]


  1. ^ Covitz, Randy. "Mike Catapano trying to go from Princeton to Chiefs". Kansas.com. The Wichita Eagle. Archived from the original on January 5, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Battista, Judy (April 13, 2013). "Unlikely Source Has Produced an N.F.L. Draft Prospect". The New York Times. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  3. ^ a b "#77 Mike Catapano". GoPrincetonTigers.com. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d Glauber, Bob and Will Sammon (April 27, 2013). "Kansas City Chiefs draft former Chaminade star Mike Catapano". Newsday. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e Brandt, Gil (March 27, 2013). "Mike Catapano of Princeton might be first Ivy Leaguer drafted". NFL.com. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  6. ^ a b "#30 Mike Catapano". Scout.com. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
  7. ^ "Mike Catapano". Rivals.com. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Mike Catapano". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
  9. ^ a b c "Chiefs head for Ivy League for defensive end Mike Catapano out of Princeton in seventh round". FOX Sports. April 27, 2013. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  10. ^ "Football Standouts Caraun Reid, Mike Catapano Earn All-America Honors". GoPrincetonTigers.com. December 15, 2012. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
  11. ^ "2012 Ivy League Football: Final" (PDF). IvyLeagueSports.com. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  12. ^ Bator, Mark. "Princeton Football: Standout Mike Catapano Drafted by Kansas City Chiefs". Bleacher Report. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
  13. ^ Teicher, Adam (September 3, 2013). "Chiefs rookie update: Defense". ESPN. Retrieved September 4, 2013.
  14. ^ "Mike Catapano #77 DE". NFL.com. September 29, 2013. Retrieved October 12, 2013.
  15. ^ "Giants 7 (0-4, 0-3 away); Chiefs 31 (4-0, 2-0 home)". ESPN. September 29, 2013. Retrieved October 13, 2013.
  16. ^ "Raiders 7 (2-4, 0-3 away); Chiefs 24 (6-0, 3-0 home)". ESPN. October 13, 2013. Retrieved October 13, 2013.
  17. ^ Thorman, Joel (August 30, 2014). "Chiefs roster cuts 2014: Tyler Bray to IR, Ryan Succop released". ArrowheadPride.com. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  18. ^ "Mysterious illness still keeping Chiefs' Mike Catapano out of action". KansasCity.com.
  19. ^ Teicher, Adam (September 25, 2014). "Mike Catapano can't provide pass-rush boost". ESPN. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  20. ^ "Chiefs Roster down to NFL-Mandated 53". Chiefs.com. September 5, 2015. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  21. ^ Paylor, Tarez A. (September 7, 2015). "Chiefs coach Andy Reid says Mike Catapano a better fit in a 4-3 scheme". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  22. ^ Martin, Kimberly A. (September 9, 2015). "Star-struck LIer Mike Catapano thrilled to be a Jet". Newsday. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  23. ^ Martin, Kimberly A. (November 21, 2015). "Jets activate LI's Mike Catapano". Newsday. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
  24. ^ Greenberg, Ethan (December 20, 2016). "Jets Place Winters and Catapano on IR". NewYorkJets.com.
  25. ^ "Texans sign Mike Catapano, waive Devin Street". HoustonTexans.com. August 23, 2017.
  26. ^ "Transactions: Texans down to 53-man roster". HoustonTexans.com. September 2, 2017. Archived from the original on January 8, 2018.

External linksEdit