Deuce Vaughn would be Clyde Edwards-Helaire 2.0 for KC Chiefs
By Josh Fann
Kansas State’s Deuce Vaughn is a fan favorite for Chiefs Kingdom in the coming NFL Draft, but he’s not the best fit.
Kansas State running back Deuce Vaughn is one of the Chiefs Kingdom’s favorite prospects in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft and for obvious reasons. He’s a local star from K-State, a school only about two hours from Arrowhead Stadium.
There’s no doubt that Vaughn is an electric runner and a star for the Wildcats. He led the team in rushing on the way to a Big 12 Championship, and he totaled 3,604 rushing yards and 34 touchdowns over his collegiate career. Vaughn averaged an impressive 5.5 yards/carry and added another 1,280 receiving yards and 9 TDs out of the backfield.
Vaughn’s ability to make people miss in the open field and his elusiveness between the tackles made him a really productive college running back. Now, Vaughn is looking to get drafted and he’s become a favorite in Chiefs fans’ mock drafts in the later rounds.
While it would be a great story to see yet another local college star head down the road to play for the Chiefs, Vaughn isn’t exactly a fit for the Chiefs.
Firstly, Vaughn stands at just 5’7″, 172 lbs. which is very undersized for an NFL running back. For reference, Clyde Edwards-Helaire is 5’7″, 205 lbs and he’s also considered undersized. In fact, the entire problem is that Vaughn is just too much like Edwards-Helaire, an experiment that hasn’t worked out for the Chiefs.
Vaughn’s athletic score also returned some atrocious numbers and he actually ended up testing worse than Edwards-Helaire.
At least in Edwards-Helaire’s case, he had much better explosiveness than Vaught with an elite vertical and broad jump and we’ve seen in the NFL that Edwards-Helaire just doesn’t look explosive against NFL defenses.
Edwards-Helaire was a very similar case to Vaughn as he was a player that dominated in college and he was a huge part of the 2019 LSU team that won a National Championship. He looked the part and he looked like a big play running back in college. However, we saw that his game didn’t translate to the NFL, and the lack of athleticism did matter. He doesn’t run away from defenders as he did at LSU and his vision doesn’t look nearly as good as holes close much quicker in the NFL.
The fact of the matter is, if you’re not just an undersized running back, but an extremely undersized running back, you better be a plus athlete to make up for it and Vaughn just isn’t that. He’s not even an average athlete.
While athleticism isn’t everything, it probably does matter the most for the running back position as you need that speed and athleticism to separate yourself from others and it’s hard to see Vaughn doing that with these numbers. There’s also some concern that Vaughn’s body may not hold up taking hits from NFL linebackers and defensive linemen at that size.
In conclusion, Vaughn is just too much of what the Chiefs already have. It’s not impossible that Vaughn still carves out a role in the NFL but it would be redundant for Kansas City to add him to their running back room.