Deuce Vaughn, Kansas State
Will. Heart. Work. Passion. Desire. What better words to describe Deuce Vaughn?
Vaughn is far from the biggest guy in the draft. At 5’5 and 179 lbs, he’s actually one of the smallest. But he plays like he’s 6’4, 240.
Vaughn ran for over 3600 yards and 34 touchdowns in his college career. He’s a patient runner, so while he is a “high motor” guy, he doesn’t just take off and bounce off his tackles.
Don’t forget how good Vaughn was against Alabama in his last college game. He ran for 133 yards against the Tide, something that is not at all easy to do. Just because he’s small doesn’t mean he can’t do it.
Due to his size, you’d have to think pass blocking will be off the table for Vaughn. He’s more than willing to do it, and it’s not his fault, but I don’t see how he can handle himself well against bigger opponents, some that could literally weigh twice as much as he does. He is a solid pass catcher which is nice, but I fear that a team would know he’s getting the ball whenever he’s on the field.
Where I see Vaughn having success is a place he hasn’t worked since 2020: the return game. Vaughn’s vision and speed are there but it’ll be tough to see with all the mayhem in front of him while running. That gets easier in the return game. He’s durable and quite elusive, and the first five words I used to describe Vaughn are all the things you want as a returner.
Denver is where I see Vaughn fitting the best. His abilities match what Sean Payton wants in a running back. San Francisco, backing up Christian McCaffrey, is another potential landing spot that makes sense.
Mohamed Ibrahim, Minnesota
Here’s a prospect that I’m beyond excited to talk about.
Let’s take a trip back to 2021. September 2nd, to be exact. Minnesota is hosting Ohio State in the season opener on Fox. Mohamed Ibrahim is running all over the Buckeyes. 163 yards, two touchdowns. The game is tight. Minnesota leads at half! It’s a three-point game in the third.
And then Ibrahim gets hurt. He tears his ACL and is out for the season and Ohio State takes over the game and wins by 14 points in a game that was MUCH closer. In many ways, Ibrahim showed the nation the blueprint to beat the Buckeyes. So much so that the following week, Oregon goes on to beat the Buckeyes using a nearly identical playbook.
What’s the point of this story? Ibrahim is a stud that not only knows how to compete with but dominates elite competition.
Unfortunately, injuries are the leading issue. In addition to the torn ACL, he’s missed time with an ankle injury in 2022. He’s missed at least one game in four of his five seasons because of various other injuries.
But when he’s on the field, there weren’t many better. He broke pretty much all of Alex Cobb and Darrell Thompson’s Minnesota records, including both the single-season and all-time rushing records.
Ibrahim is a power runner. Unlike Chase Brown, he’ll go straight through a defender. Sometimes it looks like he’d rather go through someone than have a clear path. His willingness to play physical football despite the injuries shows what kind of player he is. Ibrahim will likely never lead the league in rushing, but he should be as dependable a back as you can have. The kind of player you look at and say “man, I wish he was on my team.”
With all that said, I can’t think of a better combination for him than with Dan Campbell and the Detroit Lions.