Kenny Vaccaro (6ft, 214 lbs.) is regarded by most as the top safety prospect in this years draft. He is projected to go in the second half of the first round. So while the Browns are not in a position to draft a player of Vaccaro's caliber, it is impossible to know what will happen come draft day. So the possibility of the Browns drafting Vaccarro is unlikely, but nothing is out of the question. Safety is a fairly deep position in this years draft and FS is a need for the Browns (unless you consider Tashaun Gipson or Eric Hagg to be a viable starter). If the Browns do not draft a safety it will most likely be one of these two playing alongside Ward in the backfield. Vaccaro is a hard hitting safety who should be a fairly successful starter in the NFL.
Vaccaro played 4 years at Texas contributing each year. As a freshman he found his fair share of playing time on defense and special teams recording 19 tackles, one forced fumble and a blocked punt.
His sophomore season he won Special Teams MVP and started 6 games at safety recording 54 tackles, one interception, seven pass break-ups, and a blocked punt.
His Junior year he became arguably the best safety in the Big-12 as he recorded 82 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, two sacks, eight pass break-ups and two interceptions.There was talk of him entering last years draft, instead he choose to stay with the Longhorns for his senior season with hopes of winning the Thorpe award, and bringing the longhorns to the BCS championship.
Unfortunately for him he succeeded at neither. The Longhorns lost 4 games and the defense struggled for the most part. Vaccaro had an amazing season despite not having many surrounding parts. He finished the season with 107 tackles, 2 interceptions, 7 passes defended , and two forced fumbles. He earned All- Conference honors and was one of the few bright spots in the Texas defense this year.
Strengths: Prototypical size and build for the position. Possesses a high-cut frame with good overall musculature. Shows very good straight-line speed, agility, balance and hip flexibility. Athleticism for coverage duties are enhanced by Vaccaro's vision and instincts. Quickly locates the ball and shows an understanding of route-progression, rarely getting caught out of position.
Often asked to drop down from his free safety position to cover the slot, demonstrating a smooth backpedal, hip turn and the burst out of his breaks to stay in the hip pocket of his opponent. Hasn't generated the number of interceptions of prior UT defensive backs, but has good ball skills and showed greater willingness to jump routes as a senior.
Highly aggressive run defender. Flies to the line in run support, demonstrating a physical pop and generally reliable open-field tackling skills. Possesses the long, strong arms for the drag-down tackle, as well as good closing speed in pursuit and on the occasional blitz.
Weaknesses: Can get out of control in his aggression toward the line of scrimmage. Will duck his head in his attempt to make the big hit and leave cut-back lanes for patient, explosive runners to take full advantage. Must do a better job of wrapping up, rather than leading with his shoulder.
Hasn't shown the consistency as ballhawk considering his hype, recording only five interceptions in 51 career games. Teams will want to ask Vaccaro about a few run-ins with authorities. He was reportedly arrested following a fight with another Texas student in 2009 and again in 2012 after failing to obey a lawful order, a misdemeanor.
Compares To: Eric Weddle, FS, San Diego Chargers -- Like the highly instinctive and versatile Weddle, Vaccaro has the athleticism and size to line up wherever his NFL team needs him most. Vaccaro hasn't yet shown the same ball skills as the Chargers' Pro Bowler but showed signs of improving in this area as a senior.
Vaccaro possesses good instincts, and is very athletic. Some of his successes and failures in college are due to the lack of surrounding parts around him at Texas. His coaching staff utilized him in anyway possible. This helped him rack up 107 tackles, but also took him away from situations where a ball-hawking safety would generate a large amount of interceptions. For perspective, he is a bit bigger than T. J Ward. He would start at free safety if the Browns drafted him and would make a good tandem with Ward in the backfield. Vaccaro would be a great addition to the Browns secondary. He would allow Horton to be less conservative with the pass rush by adding a starting caliber safety in the backfield defending hurried passes.
40- yard dash (4.63)
Vertical (38.0 in)
Broad Jump (121.0 in)
3-cone drill (6.78 sec)
20-yard shuttle(4.06 sec)
Bench (15 reps)
Possibility of Browns draft Vaccaro: Highly Unlikely
The popular trade down into the early teens scenario would still make Vaccaro a reach. Vaccaro most likley is not very high on the Browns big board. (even though he is #7 on the DBN big board) Vaccaro is a great safety and will be a good starter in the NFL although I don't really see him becoming a top 10 safety in the NFL. So he falls into a category of not being good enough to be a top 10 pick and not bad enough to slide to a position where the Browns could draft him with a later pick.
The more feasible solution is that the Browns will select a safety in the later rounds, while filling more pressing needs first.
Look for names like:
And others in no particular order:
as other safety prospects more likely to land in Cleveland.