The Bucs addressed their need for a three-down back one round later than most expected Friday, selecting Vanderbilt workhorse Ke’Shawn Vaughn with the 76th overall pick.
An agile, between-the-tackles ball carrier with nine career 100-yard games at Vandy, he was the seventh running back selected in the draft.
A Nashville native who began his college career at Illinois, Vaughn (5-feet-10, 214 pounds) posted consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons for the Commodores in 2018 and ’19. Perhaps just as significant, he also brandished the pass-catching chops (41 total receptions the last two years) that Bucs coach Bruce Arians is seeking in a potential three-down back.
“This is a downhill, north-south runner that doesn’t mess around very much with moving side to side,” ESPN’s Louis Riddick said. “And he was pretty productive in the passing game as well. Not a very varied route tree, but he had dependable hands.”
Voted Tennessee’s Mr. Football in 2014, Vaughn ran for more than 700 yards as an Illini freshman, but got far fewer handoffs the following year. Raised practically within walking distance of the Vandy campus, he joined the Commodores just as program career rushing leader Ralph Webb was exiting.
His 2,259 rushing yards rank fifth in Vandy history, and his 21 rushing touchdowns rank third. He had a career game in a Texas Bowl loss to Baylor in 2018, rushing for 243 yards and two TDs on 13 carries.