PROS: Shows nice ball skills able to break on the pass and make the big play when working in zone. Does a nice job keeping things in front of him. Has nice speed and fairly good range as a defender. Willing to come up in run support and shows some pop as a hitter.
CONS: Not a great tackler, and needs to do a better job wrapping up. Misses some stops in the open field. Will get sucked up by the play fake and give up the big play in coverage, needing to show better awareness and discipline.
OVERVIEW: He's an undersized safety that has a knack for making plays, which gives him a chance to compete at the next level. Twice led team in interceptions with 5 as a senior and 7 as a sophomore. Finished career with 40 career starts.
NFL FORECAST: Vaughn's playmaking ability and ball skills in coverage should keep him in the NFL. But I'm not sure he'll be able to overcome his limitations in run support. He'll hit at times, but is too unreliable a tackler at this point. He'll give up some big plays from time to time as well, and may not have the discipline and awareness you're looking for an NFL starter at free safety. But he has a chance, and if he can be coached up in a few seasons could make a competent ball-hawking free safety. I don't think he'll be a star, but his ability to make plays in coverage should allow him to be an average or above average starter at best. But the key for him is that he'll have to stick right away on special teams which should buy him enough time to develop in two or three years down the road.
ATL FORECAST: Vaughn could push for time down the road as a starting free safety. But he'll have to make the Falcons roster immediately as a fourth safety that can perform on special teams. And his potential to start will likely depend on DeCoud not making significant progress between now and 2011 or so. That would allow Vaughn, a guy that probably has more big play potential in coverage. And if he can improve enough in run support where he's no longer a liability there, he could be the team's starter by 2011 or so. BUt more than likely, he'll just be a backup in Atlanta.
VALUE: For a team willing to be a little patient and develop him as a ballhawking free safety, he merits a sixth round pick. But I wouldn't take him any higher than that because I don't think the odds are necessarily stacked in his favor.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.