Vaughn is expected to enjoy a robust and diverse role during his rookie season despite the presence of Ronald Jones, Scott Smith of the team's official site reports. "The idea is to get him here and see what he does best," Buccaneers general manger Jason Licht said of Vaughn. "We know that he's got good speed. We know that he can catch the ball. We know that he's good in space - he's been very productive there. I think he's capable of playing on all three downs so you can't have too many good backs." The third-round pick out of Vanderbilt arrives in Tampa with an impressive body of work over his last two college seasons, a stretch during which he demonstrated a knack for breaking off long runs and showed reliable hands. Vaughn should provide an upgrade over Peyton Barber in terms of complementing Jones, as Barber averaged an unspectacular 3.9 yards per carry or less over each of the last three seasons. Vaughn could slide into a role that affords him somewhere in the neighborhood of the 150 carries the now-departed Barber logged last season, at a minimum. Moreover, if Vaughn proves trustworthy as an outlet option out of the backfield, Smith speculates that he could become the primary third-down back and serve in a function similar to that of James White during his time alongside new Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady in New England.
The Buccaneers selected Vaughn in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft, 76th overall. Running back was a need for the Buccaneers and they were able to address it late on Day 2. Vaughn comes to the NFL from Vanderbilt, where he had a productive career for the Commodores. He ran for over 1,000 yards in each of his last two seasons, highlighted by his 2018 campaign in which he racked up 1,244 yards on 7.9 YPC. Vaughn isn't a standout athlete -- he ran a 4.51 in the 40-yard dash and was average to below-average in the jumps. Still he has plenty of juice when he's on the field and with Tampa Bay's weak running back depth chart, he should find his way into the carry rotation as a rookie.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/13||@New Orleans Saints||4||13.24|
|4||10/04||Los Angeles Chargers||22||18.88|
|6||10/18||Green Bay Packers||26||21.22|
|7||10/26||@Las Vegas Raiders||0.00|
|8||11/03||@New York Giants||17||17.75|
|9||11/09||New Orleans Saints||4||13.24|
|11||11/24||Los Angeles Rams||19||18.00|
|12||11/29||Kansas City Chiefs||23||20.37|