Ke’Shawn Vaughn, RB
Aside from help with blocking, the offense has had problems keeping runners healthy, increasing the need for some depth behind starter Kerryon Johnson. Rookie Ty Johnson and Bo Scarborough helped Kerryon Johnson to rank 21st in the NFL in rushing at 103.1 yards-per-game, and 4.1 yards-per-carry. Kerryon Johnson had 403 yards to lead the team but the Lions will need more consistent production in 2020 if they hope to contend for the division and a playoff berth.
A runner who will be available to scout at the Senior Bowl that the Lions could have at a later pick is Ke’Shawn Vaughn of Vanderbilt University. The Commodores starter is 5-foot-10, 218-pounds and is expected to run a 4.43-second forty-yard dash. Vaughn has been a consistent factor for Vanderbilt and can do many things for an NFL team.
The senior runner has been on many all-star lists and was named a second-team All-American by Athlon’s. Ke’Shawn Vaughn is a powerful runner who gets North and South quickly and does his most damage between the tackles, an area the Lions can use help. You can view his stats at Sports Reference, here.
Vaughn has not been used as a receiving threat often but shows decent hands out of the backfield on screens and short routes, meaning he has three-down value as a number two back. The best parts of his game are his natural body lean as a runner although he doesn’t possess the kind of moves and ability to shake-and-bake defenders at the next level. Detroit Lions fans will enjoy his no-nonsense style and ability to break arm tackles and move a pile in short-yardage situations.
He can change direction and shows good balance but isn’t the type to dance back and forth. His natural speed has helped him to create big plays even though he is more of a power runner. Also, he shows good vision to find holes and the patience to let blocks develop.
On the downside, he seems a bit stiff in his hips, meaning that his ability to be a starter is limited due to him being a more straight-ahead runner. Separating from NFL defenders will be tougher and therefore likely limit his production. However, his power and speed should allow him to be a good thumper and part of an effective committee that can improve the Lions backfield.