Kenny Vaccaro Scouting Report

Posted by Brad On February – 23 – 2013

"Kenny Vaccaro"

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Kenny Vaccaro I Texas I SS/FS I 6010 I 215 I Senior

40 Time (E): 4.55

Overview: Kenny Vaccaro epitomizes today’s NFL safety. With NFL defenses relying so much on the versatility of interchangeable pieces there’s no greater example than the safety position. Kenny Vaccaro is a true interchangeable prospect with the ability to play traditional strong or free safety roles and can cover the slot in sub packages. It’s this versatility that should have his name called on day one of the draft. Vaccaro was a guy that I wasn’t high on coming into the 2012 season but he impressed in several performances, making me a believer. Most impressive was his ability to neutralize Tavon Austin of West Virginia.

Man Coverage: The separation point between Vaccaro and other top safeties is his ability to cover the slot. Vaccaro can put the straps on the best of what was offered in the slot. His ability to press with strength and redirection skills are rare for a safety prospect. His hands are fantastic as he strikes first and directly to the chest plate. After release, Vaccaro redirects and runs with the receiver with better than average speed at the position. He gets downgraded for perceived lack of speed but watch the WVU game when he tracks down Tavon Austin from behind. I don’t see many examples of him not being able to run vertically with faster receivers. Shows excellent ball/spatial awareness. Not a great playmaker in coverage with average to below average ball skills.

Zone Coverage: Staying in school for his senior season really paid off. Vaccaro’s instincts as a pattern reader were much improved. I saw a significant improvement from the 2011 tape to the 2012 tape in zone coverage. He showed he was as adept as covering the deep half/third than the underneath stuff. In 2011, I saw an average centerfield that was susceptible to getting exposed in deep half/third coverage. 2012 he looked much more comfortable with his back to the ball. He’s quick-twitch enough to break on the ball but needs to improve as a playmaker and turn breakups into interceptions.

Run Support: Vaccaro is an enforcer that is an effective force at the line of scrimmage. He excelled as a blitzer and blowing up run plays in the backfield when Texas played him on the line of scrimmage. His aggression as a tackler is sometimes over the top and could draw flags and fines at the next level. I wasn’t impressed with Vaccaro’s ability in the open field to secure tackles. He took poor angles causing him to have to chase the play.

Size/Strength/Athleticism: Ideal size to the play the position at the next level. There shouldn’t be any concerns with his size at the Combine. He’s quicker than fast but has more than adequate straight line speed. His change of direction and burst are above average at the position. Shows solid natural strength with the ability to manhandle smaller receivers and tie up bigger receivers.

Bottom Line: Kenny Vaccaro is the draft’s top safety. He’s going to build some buzz as a top 15 pick and it’s worthy buzz. With teams looking for versatility he’s the definition of what a team will look for in a safety prospect with the ability to play in the box and cover the backend. Vaccaro could be the prototype for the future of the safety position as teams strive for interchangeable pieces to match offenses.

  • neighborhooddrunkpart2

    I hope he is available at the #17.

  • neighborhooddrunkpart2

    I hope he is available at the #17.