Prospects

Prospects
Photo of Chip Vaughn
Chip Vaughn (S)
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 221
College: Wake Forest
Conference: ACC
Hometown: Fairfax, VA
High School: Robinson Secondary
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Selected by: New Orleans Saints
Round: 4
Pick (Overall): 16 (116)
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Pick Analysis: Vaughn played in 152 games in college. He made a ton of tackles, but had only three interceptions. He excels in special teams as a kick-blocker. He's more of a strong safety than a free safety. He fits in well with the Saints, as Malcolm Jenkins can start at corner and Vaughn can fill in at safety.
  1. Overview
  2. Analysis
Overview

Along with linebacker Aaron Curry and cornerback Alphonso Smith, Vaughn was another cornerstone of a defense that dominated in the Atlantic Coast Conference. A great special teams performer earlier in his career, he wrested the starting free safety job as a junior, but many professional scouts feel that Vaughn's speed, size and ability vs. the run is more suited for strong safety at the next level.


Discipline in his game is one of his strongest suits, as it is very rare to see Vaughn's emotions get the better of him on the field. He has shown excellent timing in competing for the ball in flight, as his 14 pass deflections in 2007 rank fourth on the school's single-season record list. He also has proven to be a capable hitter, as he became just the fourth defensive back in Wake Forest history to lead the team in tackles during a season, producing 105 hits during his junior campaign.


Vaughn was known for his versatility during his career at Robinson Secondary High School. He was an Atlantic Hot 100 selection and rated the 56th-best wide receiver in the country by TheInsiders.com. As a senior, he caught 12 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown while playing for an offense that featured a strong running attack.


As a defensive back, Vaughn was named first-team All-State, All-District and All-Region. He was rated the 10th-best overall prospect in the state of Virginia and named to the Top 66 squad by VirginiaPreps.com. In his final campaign, he recorded 96 tackles with 24 stops behind the line of scrimmage, two fumble recoveries, a pair of forced fumbles, six pass deflections and two interceptions, returning one pass theft for a touchdown.


Vaughn enrolled at Wake Forest in 2004, spending the season adjusting to playing safety after originally being recruited as a wide receiver. He appeared in all 11 games in 2005, starting in the nickel package vs. East Carolina. He finished his first season with the varsity by delivering 25 tackles (16 solos) with a forced fumble. He also delivered 18 plays for the special teams coverage unit, using his quickness to down seven punts inside the 20-yard line, the best figure of any Division 1-A player that campaign.


As a sophomore, Vaughn played mostly behind Josh Gattis at free safety, starting for an injured Gattis vs. Florida State. He switched from jersey No. 20 to No. 9 before the season opener, as he registered 41 tackles (33 solos), the 10th-best figure on the team. He deflected two passes, blocked a kick and was in on 14 key plays for the special teams squads, twice stopping punt returners for no gains and two more times that resulted in lost yardage by the opposition.


Vaughn was an All-Atlantic Coast Conference honorable mention in 2007. He started 11 of 13 games at free safety, but suffered a concussion late in the season. He led the team with a career-high 105 tackles (62 solos), making 4.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. He recovered two fumbles, returning one for a touchdown, as he also picked off a pass and led the Demon Deacons with 14 pass breakups. He also totaled nine special teams stops, all coming with the punt coverage squad.


As a senior, Vaughn started 12 of the 13 games he appeared in. The All-ACC choice ranked third on the team with 87 tackles (59 solos), including 2.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. He recovered two fumbles and deflected six passes. He also gained 37 yards on a pair of interceptions. He led a young secondary that ranked tied for 12th in the nation, as the Demon Deacons allowed only 172.54 yards passing per game.


High School

Attended Robinson Secondary (Fairfax, Va.) High School, playing for head coach Mark Bendorf...Atlantic Hot 100 selection and rated the 56th-best wide receiver in the country by TheInsiders.com...As a senior, he caught 12 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown while playing for an offense that featured a strong running attack...As a defensive back, Vaughn was named first-team All-State, All-District and All-Region...Rated the 10th-best overall prospect in the state of Virginia and named to the Top 66 squad by VirginiaPreps.com...In his final campaign, he recorded 96 tackles with 24 stops behind the line of scrimmage, two fumble recoveries, a pair of forced fumbles, six pass deflections and two interceptions, returning one pass theft for a touchdown.


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Analysis

Positives: Looks the part. Rare size and upper-body development for the position. Aggressive defender that attacks in run support. Reliable open-field tackler. Heavy hitter that can separate the ballcarrier from the ball, resulting in forced fumbles and passes broken up. Appears to have at least adequate straight-line speed, good balance and a low backpedal. Good leaping ability to battle for the ball. Has developed a reputation for game-changing plays over his career. Came to Wake Forest as a wide receiver and is still an ascending player.


Negatives: Better in run support than against the pass. Questionable instincts. A step slow in recognizing the action and has a hitch in his turn. May lack the agility to mirror routes. Better facing the quarterback. Loses track of the ball and has only marginal hand-eye coordination for the interception. Surrounded by a great deal of talent at Wake Forest.


Injury Report

2007: Suffered a concussion in the North Carolina State game (11/17).


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