2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: USC WR Tyler Vaughns

Brian Lamb
Brian Lamb is the owner of NFL Draft Lounge and has covered the NFL Draft since 2011. Brian is also the owner of the Infinity Sports Network, which NFL Draft Lounge belongs to.

The University of Southern California had built an offense around Kedon Slovis and Amon-Ra St Brown. While these two athletes figure to be sought after NFL Draft prospects, there are several others within the program that deserve some recognition. Tyler Vaughns is an outside receiver that performs rather well, despite not being a top offensive target, as we’ll explains in this scouting report.

Below, we’ll breakdown Tyler Vaughn’s high school recruiting and collegiate background. Next, we’ll look at some game film as we identify what we like, as well as what we don’t like. Finally, we’ll look at some pros and cons from our official scouting report before predicting his future in the NFL.

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Background

Tyler Vaughns was a four-star recruit according to 247 Sports and ESPN, while Rivals had him listed as a five-star recruit. 247 Sports and Rivals had Vaughns listed as a top 30 recruit nationally, as well as the 2nd best wide receiver in the class. Prior to his commitment to USC, Vaughns had offers from Georgia, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma. In February of 2016, Vaughns signed his letter of intent, and officially enrolled in June.

Tyler Vaughns did not hit the field in 2016 as he was redshirted by the USC Trojans.

In 2017, Vaughns had 10 starts, but appeared in all 14 games for USC. He finished with 57 receptions for 809 yards, as well as five touchdowns. Even more impressively, Vaughns averaged 14.2 yards per reception as a redshirt freshman.

In 2018, Tyler Vaughns continued to be an integral part of the USC offense. He finished with 58 receptions for 674 receiving yards and six touchdown. Furthermore, Vaughns displayed his versatility as he finished 13th nationally in punt return yardage percentage (10.5). In USC’s final game against Notre Dame, Vaughns finished with 12 receptions for 120 yards and one touchdown.

Vaughns saw an expanded role in 2019 as he finished with 74 catches for 912 yards and six touchdowns. Additionally, the USC WR finished with four 100-yard plus receiving games and was USC’s Offensive Perimeter Player Of The Year.

The Pac-12 season was shortened due to the coronavirus in 2020. Despite this, Vaughns still finished with 33 receptions for 406 yards and three touchdowns in six games.

 

What I Like About Tyler Vaughns

We love to embed game film into our scouting reports. Below, you’ll find three clips that best spotlights what Tyler Vaughns does well. For the first game, the USC Trojans are at home against Washington State.

 

Route Running

Tyler Vaughns does a great job of using his body to create separation on this play. Despite the obvious interference form the defensive back, Vaughns is still able to break free in the end zone. The quarterback mishandles the play-action, which ultimately dooms this play, but it’s still a great rep from Tyler Vaughns.

 

Competitive Toughness

Vaughns fights through tight coverage as he comes off the line of scrimmage. The defender does a nice job of forcing Vaughns outside so that he can take the inside of the field away. However, the USC WR is able to fight through the pressure and regain the leverage inside. Once he makes his cut back inside, Vaughns does a nice job of high pointing the catch, despite the defenders around him. This is a great effort from Vaughns to fight for the first down.

 

Tracking The Ball Downfield

Tyler Vaughns displays very solid footwork to create the separation needed as he bursts off the line of scrimmage. From there, Vaughns does an excellent job of tracking the ball into the corner of the endzone, while continuing to maintain the separation. It’s hard to make out from this angle, but he makes a great catch over his shoulder for the touchdown.

 

What I Dislike About Tyler Vaughns

On the previous page, we looked at three clips that best identifies what Tyler Vaughns does well. Below, I’ve included three clips from his collegiate career that spotlights areas where Vaughns needs to improve. The first clip is the 2020 Pac-12 Championship game against Oregon.

 

Catch Radius

The play design here is excellent as Vaughns has designed separation as he makes his cut inside. While the ball might be a touch late, Tyler Vaughns still has ample space to make this catch. Given that he’ll be asked to make similar catches with less separation in the NFL, you obviously want to see this one brought in for the first down.

 

Adjusting To The Ball

Tyler Vaughns has plenty of space to operate in on this play. He has a five-yard cushion off the line of scrimmage, which is maintained all the way through to the top of the route. Even as he breaks off the curl, Vaughns has plenty of room. In Vaughns defense, the ball is clearly placed a bit high. However, given the space created, Tyler Vaughns has plenty of room, and time, to adjust to the ball and make the catch.

 

High Point The Catch

I know that Tyler Vaughns is in double-teamed and forced along the sidelines. However, he has the vertical advantage and has the opportunity to make this catch. I’d like to see him work on his timing, as shown on this play. This may not be the best example of what Tyler Vaughns will face often in the NFL, but does include certain traits that need to be improved upon.

 

Tyler Vaughns NFL Draft Scouting Report

 

Pros
  • Tracking The Ball Downfield
  • Ability To Create Separation At The Line Of Scrimmage
  • Footwork

 

Cons
  • Several Unnecessary Dropped Passes
  • Limited Catch Radius
  • Adjusting To The Ball To Ensure A Catch Is Made

 

The Verdict

As we’ve identified in this scouting report, USC WR Tyler Vaughns is a talented perimeter option with a solid resume. His competitive toughness and ability to manipulate coverage to create separation will get him drafted.

However, the dropped passes on film, likely due to a limited catch radius, needs to be improved upon. More importantly, these traits could be what keeps Vaughns off the field at the next level.

Despite the negatives, Tyler Vaughns is a solid late-round option. The NFL Combine would have helped Vaughns get drafted, but if he does find himself going undrafted, his experience on special teams could earn his a practice squad or backup position in an NFL franchise.

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