2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Vanderbilt RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn

Ke’Shawn Vaughn

Height: 5’10

Weight: 218 lbs.


2019 Maxwell Award Preseason Watchlist
2019 Doak Walker Award Preseason Watchlist
2019 Preseason Second-Team All-American by Athlon Sports


Ke’Shawn Vaughn was a two-year back for University of Illinois before transferring to Vanderbilt following the 2016 season.  Four-star prospect per Rivals and 247 Sports.  In this article, we’ll breakdown Ke’Shawn Vaughn’s mechanics and predict his future as an NFL running back.



What I Like:

Competitive Toughness and Play Strength

Ke’Shawn Vaughn plays with excellent competitive toughness and a strong desire to fight for more yards on each and every play, as shown here.  On this play, Vaughn fights for the goal line and eventually gets in, made possible by his ability to keep his feet moving and his body kept low as he powers through heavy contact.



What I Dislike:

Pass Protection Awareness

Protection breaks down rather quickly the right side of the offensive line, but unfortunately Ke’Shawn Vaughn isn’t able to pick it up.  Instead, the quarterback is forced to escape the pocket and forces an incomplete pass while he’s under pressure.  There are times where Vaughn is able to pickup protection breakdowns, but it’s somewhat inconsistent.



Where I’ve Seen Improvement:

Route Running Ability

Ke’Shawn Vaughn does a nice job of being able to create separation at the top of his route here as he runs a simple out route towards the sideline.  There is a receiver open downfield that the quarterback elects to pass the ball to instead, but Vaughn nonetheless is able to run an excellent route and give his quarterback a solid safety net.



Overall Breakdown

Has solid height and weight for the running back position.  Displays good change of direction and acceleration to explode through open running lanes.  Shows to have very good top end speed to outrun defenders downfield or in open space.  Has a good ability to keep his feet moving and his center of gravity low as he pushes through contact to fight for additional yardage.  Displays a willingness to put his body on the line and take a big hit to pass protect.  Shows to have a very good competitive edge as he fights for yardage and pushes large piles forward.  Shows to be a gritty player that plays a very old school type of game.  Has a solid ability to keep the ball tight and secured in traffic.  Displays a good ability to change direction at the line of scrimmage to elude defenders in the trenches.  Has good acceleration and speed to get through open lanes and out of the box quickly.  Shows to have good natural hands and a solid catching radius.  Displays a good ability to get low and punch through defenders when asked to pass protect.  Displays a solid awareness to pickup free rushers through the middle of the field and apply an effective block.  Has good balance to remain upright through contact and quick change of direction cuts.  Displays good burst and acceleration to get upfield when working through screens.  Has a good ability to break outside and get upfield quickly.

Has an adequate ability to read and diagnose running lanes quickly.  Displays an adequate array of abilities to elude defenders downfield as he mainly relies on change of direction or speed.  Has a marginal use of hands to break tackles.  Shows to have a marginal ability to pickup blocks on outside rushers when protection breaks down.  Displays an adequate ability to pickup downfield blocking assignments.


2020 NFL Draft Projection

Late-Second to Mid-Third Round

Ke’Shawn Vaughn is a one-cut style running back that relies on acceleration and speed to get upfield quickly.  He has a solid ability to pass protect, which could move him up draft boards.  Vaughn was invited to the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, which could garner additional attention as well. Ultimately, look for a zone-run or above average offensive line take a look at Ke’Shawn Vaughn to upgrade their backfield.

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