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ICYMI: Two Wildcats drafted by NFL teams, two sign free agent deals

ICYMI: Two Wildcats drafted by NFL teams, two sign free agent deals
(Daily file photo by Jacob Swan)

The final four rounds of the NFL Draft took place Saturday afternoon, and two Wildcats heard their names called. Defensive end Dean Lowry was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 4th round and superback Dan Vitale was taken by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 6th round as a fullback.

Additionally, defensive lineman Deonte Gibson and safety Traveon Henry each signed contracts as undrafted free agents following the completion of the draft. Gibson signed with the Detroit Lions and Henry inked a deal with the Buccaneers.

There is still time for other Wildcats to sign with NFL teams and defensive back Nick VanHoose is expected to sign somewhere, although the timing of a potential deal is not known.

Traveon Henry signed by Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Safety Traveon Henry has signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent.

Henry played 12 games at safety his senior year, totaling 74 tackles and two interceptions. He joins former teammate fullback Dan Vitale, who was drafted by Tampa Bay in the sixth round.

Deonte Gibson signed by Detroit Lions

Deonte Gibson signed by Detroit Lions
(Daily file photo by Nathan Richards)

Defensive end Deonte Gibson has signed as an undrafted free agent with the Detroit Lions, according to NFL reporter Aaron Wilson.

Gibson saw action in every game his senior season, leading Northwestern in sacks with nine and recording 12.5 tackles for loss and 39 total tackles.

Dan Vitale drafted by Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Dan Vitale drafted by Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(Daily file photo by Luke Vogelzang)

Superback Dan Vitale was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the 22nd pick in the 6th round (197th overall) of the NFL Draft on Saturday. He is the second Wildcat to be drafted, after Dean Lowry was taken by the Green Bay Packers near the end of the 4th round.

Vitale led Northwestern in all receiving categories during his senior campaign, hauling in 33 catches for 355 yards and 4 touchdowns. Over his Wildcat career, the Wheaton, Illinois native totaled 135 catches for 1,427 yards, and his 11 career receiving touchdowns are tied for tenth-most in program history. Additionally, Vitale picked up second-team All-Big Ten honors in 2015.

The Buccaneers had shown interest in Vitale leading up to the draft, hosting him for a private workout earlier this month. He also visited privately with the New England Patriots.

As the superback position does not exist in the NFL the Buccaneers drafted Vitale as a fullback, but he could also find snaps at tight end. He joins a Tampa Bay squad that finished 6-10 and in last place in the NFC South last season.

Dean Lowry drafted by the Green Bay Packers

Dean Lowry drafted by the Green Bay Packers
(Daily file photo by Nathan Richards)

Northwestern defensive end Dean Lowry was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the 4th round of the NFL Draft on Saturday. The Packers selected him at 137th overall.

At 6-foot-6 and 296 pounds, Lowry appeared in all 13 games during his senior campaign in 2015, registering 31 solo tackles and 3 sacks. He also set a career-high with 13.5 tackles for loss last season and earned second-team All-Big Ten honors.

At the NFL scouting combine, Lowry impressed with 30 bench press reps of 225 pounds, fifth-most for all defensive lineman and a 4.81 second 40-yard dash.

Lowry joins a Green Bay squad that lost in the NFC Divisional Round to the Arizona Cardinals. He will sit behind defensive ends Letroy Guion and Datone Jones on the depth chart.

WATCH: Football players sing national anthem before softball

Before Sunday’s series finale between Northwestern and Michigan State, junior offensive lineman Ian Park and junior wide receiver Austin Carr sang the national anthem as part of softball’s Senior Day festivities. The two were a part of the “Hype Squad”, comprised of Wildcat athletes, that cheers on the softball team in the right field bleachers. NU went on to win the game 10-4 and swept Michigan State.

Here are some other pictures of the Hype Squad at Sunday’s game: