2023 NFL Draft Measurables
Deuce Vaughn 40-Yard Dash Time – 4.43
5’6” / 176 lbs.
Deuce Vaughn Draft Profile
Deuce Vaughn is a former 3-star recruit out of Cedar Ridge High School in Round Rock, Texas. According to 247sports, Vaughn was the 17th best all-purpose back in the 2020 recruiting class. While working towards achieving this ranking, Vaughn received interest from 13 division I programs. Although he had all these schools interested in him, he only received scholarships from seven of them. Some of these schools were Arkansas, Missouri, USF, and Kansas State. After only having one official visit to Kansas State, he decided to commit and play for the Wildcats.
Upon arriving at Kansas St., Vaughn has been very productive. According to ESPN, his freshman season he racked up 123 rushing attempts for 642 yards and 7 touchdowns. He also had 25 receptions for 434 yards and 2 touchdowns. His sophomore season, he almost doubled his production. He had 214 rushing attempts for 1,258 yards and 15 touchdowns with 47 receptions for 471 yards and 3 touchdowns. Finally, so far this season, he has 271 rushing attempts for 1,425 yards and 8 touchdowns. On the receiving end, he has racked up 42 receptions for 378 yards and 3 touchdowns. So, throughout his collegiate career at Kansas State, he has averaged over 5 yards per rushing attempt and over 9 yards per reception.
Deuce Vaughn is one of the best athletes in the nation. He has very good lateral agility and elusiveness that allows him to make defenders miss in open and tight areas. Vaughn also has very low center of gravity that helps him maintain his balance through contact and quickly change directions. His quickness is also very impressive because he can easily punish the opposing defense if they give him any space.
Deuce Vaughn has incredible vision with the ball in his hand. When the ball is snapped, he does a good job of reading and diagnosing the defense in front of him. He does a good job of patiently waiting behind the line waiting for the line to properly execute their blocks. Then, when he finds a hole in the line, he uses his athleticism to take off down the field. He is also good at knowing how to beat defenders regardless of the scenario he is in.
As I briefly mentioned earlier, Vaughn is very explosive and has a good burst of straight-line speed. When he finds a hole in the defense, he does a good job of accelerating to top speed to maximize gains. He is also very good at separating from defenders in the 2nd level. Vaughn does this by using his acceleration and low center of gravity to elude defenders and leave them in the dust. Finally, if he is in the backfield and his hole is not there, he is good at quickly changing directions and exploding in the opposite direction.
When Vaughn gets the ball in his hand, he is good at making something out of nothing. If his hole is not there, he can change directions quickly and explode down the field. Having the ability to improvise and make a play when nothing is given to you is very important. Most of the top running backs in the NFL are very good at getting creative with the ball in their hands. This allows the offensive line to execute their blocks and trust that the running back can make a play.
As I mentioned earlier, Vaughn is a very small back and will be very undersized in the NFL. His small frame really hinders his ability to be effective everywhere on the field. His small frame makes it difficult for him to shed tackles when hit in the torso. It also limits what offensive schemes he would fit in within the NFL. For example, I would not want him to go to a team that has lots of power-run concepts. Meanwhile, he would be a good fit on a pass-heavy offense where he can act as a 3rd down back.
His pass-blocking weakness goes along with his size and frame. Since he is small, he struggles to block defenders who are late to blitz the QB. He is often either thrown off to the side or run over because the defenders are much bigger than him. Unfortunately for him, there is not much he can do to improve this.
Deuce Vaughn Draft Stock
As of right now, I would not draft Deuce Vaughn any higher than the 4th round. Although he is an incredible talent, his size really hinders what he brings to a team. But if he continues to improve his craft and do well at the NFL Combine, he could move up to the 3rd round.
Final Thoughts on Deuce Vaughn
Overall, Deuce Vaughn is a very interesting prospect because we rarely see players of his size make the NFL. But he doesn’t let his lack of size stop him from being one of the nation’s top backs. He is an incredible athlete who is very explosive and creative when he gets the ball in his hands. His game would be best fit for a team where he can act as a complimentary back in a pass-heavy offense.
He reminds me a lot of Baltimore Ravens running back and former Missouri Tiger Tyler Badie.
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