After months of speculation that they would draft a running back, the Bucs took Ke’Shawn Vaughn out of Vanderbilt with the 76th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
What stands out about Vaughn is his speed, acceleration, and vision. He ran a 4.51 at the 2020 Combine, which is .14 seconds faster than what Ronald Jones II ran in 2019 (4.65). We know RoJo can fly, but Vaughn is faster. To make things better, he doesn’t lose any of that speed when the pads come on.
If he gets into the open field, he’s gone:
But he’s not just a burner. He’s an extremely tough runner that possesses good vision. On this play, he takes on eventual first-round pick Patrick Queen and gives him all he can handle:
This run is Vaughn at his best. He has the vision to find the proper running lane, runs through arm tackles, then uses his speed and burst to finish off the defense en route to the end zone:
And this stiff arm is just nasty:
Illinois and Vanderbilt were more power than zone when it comes to how they like to run the ball, but Vaughn often showed that he could also make plays when his teams decided to run a zone scheme:
For those worried about Vaughn’s lack of production in the passing game, don’t worry so much. He may not be a dynamic player in that department, but when called upon, he’s shown that he has the hands to be effective:
In all, the Bucs drafted an explosive playmaker who averaged close to 5.8 yards per carry over his career. Vaughn is a tough runner who won’t go down on initial contact, but has the speed, acceleration, and vision to do some serious damage. He’s more of a power scheme guy, but as we saw, he can make it work in zone schemes, too.
The worry with Vaughn is his lack of lateral ability, pass protection, and creativity. He’s more of a north-and-south runner who won’t make many people miss in space, but he stays low enough to the ground where he can take on defenders. That physical style of play has put him in the medical tent a couple of times, but that’s just who he is as a runner.
At the end of the day, the Bucs reached on this pick, but if it works out, they just added a dynamic piece to the offensive backfield.
Vaughn is the ultimate boom-or-bust prospect.