Injury History: Broken Ankle (High School Freshman Season)
Games Evaluated: 2019 Vs: Georgia, LSU 2018 Vs: South Carolina
Report By: Ryan Lippert
Top End Speed: 7.20
Vaughn isn't going to wow scouts with his athleticism but he has enough to succeed. He has very good top-end speed once he gets to the second level. He showed on multiple occasions in college that he can simply outrun defenders once he has a full head of steam in the open field. With this in mind, I'd call him more fast than quick as he doesn't have the loose hips or quickness to cut/change direction that other backs in this class possess. In terms of explosiveness, he shows that in his speed as well as with the ability to run through tackles. He also has shown good contact balance which helps him pick up extra yards.
WITH BALL IN HANDS: 6.50
Cutting Ability: 5.80
Yards After Contact: 7.20
Ball Security: 6.80
While he ran behind a subpar offensive line at Vanderbilt and the running lanes weren't always there, Vaughn still did a good job of finding the openings and hitting them downhill. As a downhill runner, he used his strength and high motor to break tackles or at the very least fall forwards for extra yards. While Vaughn is a good straight-line runner, he lacks elusiveness. He shows the ability to make one-cut moves in some instances but he isn't known for making defenders miss in the open field. As far as ball security goes, Vaughn protected the ball well for the most part but still can find ways to improve.
Route Running: 5.80
Ability In Space: 6.00
Ability to Separate: 6.00
Although he wasn't used a tremendous amount in the passing game at Vanderbilt, Vaughn showed that he has the ability to produce as a pass-catcher. He has solid hands, showing the ability to truly look the ball in before he gets upfield. In space, he has the speed to get up the field after the catch to pick up extra yards but just like as a ball carrier, he isn't going to make defenders miss very often after the catch. As far as separation goes, Vaughn wasn't given the chance to show much but his speed could make it hard for linebackers to stay with him in man coverage. Vaughn was used some out wide in the passing game in college but ran very basic routes and I don't see him being much of a threat as a route runner at the next level.
Lead Blocking: 5.60
Blocking In Space: 5.70
Pass Blocking: 5.70
Situational Awareness: 5.80
Blocking is an area where Vaughn showed ability at times but was too inconsistent. As a pass blocker, he struggled in timing his cut blocks and was just simply overpowered by edge rushers and blitzing linebackers. He also struggled to find defenders in space leading to missed blocks. Vaughn showed adequate situational awareness as a blocker as he showed that he knows when to come off his route in the passing game and become a blocker when the quarterback decides to take off. He wasn't used much as a lead blocker in college so that is an area in which Vaughn will have to prove himself if asked to do so in the league.
One of the things I love about Vaughn is his competitiveness. Even with a very mediocre offense around him at Vanderbilt, he was able to produce great numbers. His toughness was also on display throughout his career as he was faced with a lot of traffic in the running lanes and continued to run hard. He plays with a very high motor but his production was inconsistent at times, mainly due to poor blocking. Vaughn showed in his college career that he was a very good teammate as he laid it all on the line for his team regardless of the scoreboard.
Vaughn's instincts are on display in his vision. When things were clogged up in between the tackles, he did a good job of finding some space or trying to make something out of what was in front of him. As far as versatility goes, he is mainly just a downhill runner but has shown flashes of ability in the passing game, which he can hopefully improve on in a better offensive system at the next level. He showed a good ability to learn from his negative plays and adjust the next play. Regardless of the outcome of the previous play, he always seemed to continue to come back just as hard and keep fighting.
The main thing I like about Ke'Shawn is his competitive playing style. With the very little help that he was given in the Vanderbilt offense, he was still able to show some positive production. He also continued to play with toughness, even when having to take on multiple defenders in between the tackles. I also like his high motor that he plays with as his feet are always churning through contact. His top-end speed will be another thing that helps him in the league as he has the ability to run away from defenders once he finds open space at the second level. His explosion will also help him have success at the next level. He has shown that he has the ability to lower his shoulder and run through tacklers. At the very least, he does a good job of falling forward through contact for extra yards. This will help him to see the field as a two-down or short-yardage back in the league.
Vaughn will need to improve as a blocker if he wants to enhance his chances of playing time at the next level. This is especially true as a pass blocker. He struggled in timing on his cut blocks and was a "catcher" far too often against pass rushers. This makes it easy for stronger edge rushers and blitzing linebackers to bull rush him into the quarterback. He also lacks true quickness and elusiveness as a ball carrier. Vaughn isn't a running back that has shown a variety of moves or the ability to make defenders miss in the open field. He will also need to show that he can be used in a higher capacity in the passing game. The way that offenses have evolved in the NFL makes running backs that can pose as a threat as a receiver a high commodity. He showed that he can catch the ball and make something happen when he was asked to do so but he will have to show that he can run a bigger variety of routes and that he can be consistent in the passing game.
Ke'Shawn Vaughn is a talented running back prospect that unfortunately wasn't able to produce or truly show his talents at the highest potential like some of the other prospects in this class have due to a very mediocre offense around him. He started his collegiate career at Illinois where he ran the ball 157 times for 723 yards and six touchdowns as a freshman. He followed that with 301 yards and three touchdowns off 60 carries as a sophomore. Following his sophomore season, he decided to transfer to Vanderbilt. After sitting out a year, Vaughn had a very successful first season with the Commodores, running the ball 157 times for 1,244 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also had 13 receptions for 170 yards and two touchdowns. These numbers helped him to be named to First and Second Team Preseason All-SEC teams (depending on the publication), along with many awards watch lists heading into his senior season. Unfortunately, his production did slip some as a senior in what was a very dysfunctional Vanderbilt offense. He finished his final season with 198 carries for 1,028 yards and nine touchdowns, along with 28 receptions for 270 yards and touchdown. However, this was still good enough to earn him an invite to the 2020 Reese's Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine. At the next level, Vaughn possesses the physical tools to be a successful NFL running back. I'm very interested to see what he can do in a better offensive scheme with more weapons around him as he just simply didn't have that in college. If he can sure up his blocking and show that he can be more than just a downhill, short-yardage back, I could see Vaughn having a solid career as a rotational back in the league on a team that utilizes a running back by committee approach or for a team that simply needs a complementary piece behind their workhorse back. Round Projection: 5th-6th; Team Fits: Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions; NFL Comparison: Jamaal Williams