6-2/220 Wake Forest
Pros: He's got good speed and range and can make plays all over the field. Good coming up and defending the run in the box. Is a capable tackler that does a nice job wrapping.
Cons: Struggles in coverage, particularly man coverage. Lets receivers get behind him when he's got deep responsibilities. Misses too many stops in the open field and has trouble tackling bigger backs despite his size.
Overview: Vaughn is a solid run-stopper, but doesn't play as big as his size merits. He's the third best defender on a stacked Wake Forest defense, but wouldn't be as effective without guys like Curry and Smith making his job a lot easier. Started at both safety spots at Wake, after starting out as a wide receiver.
NFL Forecast: He needs work in coverage, but is a smart player that I think will develop there. Vaughn is certainly good enough to be a starter, but I don't think he'll be a top starter. He'll be an average to above average starter like Quintin Mikell, but not much beyond that. But I don't see him as anything special. He plays more like a 205-pound safety than someone pushing 220. In three years, I expect Vaughn to be starting for someone, and if he has a solid free safety beside him, he'll be a capable starter.
ATL Forecast: Vaughn is an option for the Falcons at strong safety, and while he could start for the team, he's not the ideal long-term fix because he's not a big time playmaker. He probably should get a year to sit and watch, but if push came to shove the Falcons could find a lot worse options as a starter this year. He certainly could at least challenge a guy like DeCoud right away. But I'm not sure he's a better player than DeCoud, and the only difference is more experience playing SS and a better body for the position.
Value: Vaughn is a solid middle round pick that should go off the board at the beginning of the fourth round. Although a late third round pick wouldn't be crazy for a team that really needs help at the position.
Scouting Reports of safeties in the 2009 NFL Draft
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