Deuce Von tops Dallas Cowboys draft class’ in-game athleticism, third among RBs drafted

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More than a week later and the NFL world is still buzzing about the heartwarming of Dallas Cowboys running back Deuce Vaughn, the son of Chris Vaughn, a scout.

The video of a father calling his son and asking him if he didn't mind working out with him next week as the Cowboys' sixth-round pick is an all- tearjerker.

I've heard from a lot of people and people that were watching the draft that weren't really football people,” said Will McCulley, Cowboys' vice president of player personnel. “A lot of people have been in touch and it's not only in sports, Rather one of the greatest moments in life, because I had a true passion for people, Chris Vaughan, and then his son.”

Add in Vaughan's 5-foot-5, 179-pound stature and it's a story of a man who overcame insurmountable odds to make his lifelong dream a reality that people from all walks of life can relate to and appreciate. Can

But let's be clear, Vaughn's presence on Cowboys isn't about the team wanting to make a feel-good story. The Cowboys' choice was about what he brings to the table in football form, not sentimentality.

Cowboys will tell you this.

“All you have to do is put on tape and watch the kid play to know he belongs and he belongs in the NFL,” McClay said. “He deserved to be picked and we had the opportunity to pick him at a price that was good for us and was the best football player across the board.”

That's what their analytics say, according to Corey Yates, a Fort Worth Western Hills graduate and co-founder of Reel Analytics, a sports tech and data company that analyzes video to measure athleticism so that coaches and scouts can find more talent. make an accurate assessment.

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Per Yates, the intersection of film and analytics is white space reel analytics, which leads to unlocking new athleticism data to get your In-Game Athleticism (IGA) score.

Reel Analytics, which is used by many colleges in recruiting including TCU, measures position position players such as running backs, receivers, tight ends, linebackers and defensive backs. This gives him a proprietary IGA score derived from position-specific athleticism metrics extracted by video tracking technology. Each metric is weighted, referenced by a percentile ranking, and scored.

And not only did Vaughn's passing score of 96.7 top all Cowboys draft players, but it was third among running backs behind only Bijan Robinson (98.3) and Tank Bigsby (97.2), who were drafted in the first and third rounds by the Atlanta Falcons. was drafted and the Jacksonville Jaguars, respectively.

He was four spots ahead of Jahmir Gibbs (92.1), who was selected in the first round by the Detroit Lions.

“Deuce Von is unique in two ways,” said Yates. “First, he has exceptional change of direction. His average change of direction time of under 0.3 seconds ranks in the top 1% of the 3,900 running backs in our database and best in the 2023 draft class. Second, Vaughn has high- And breakaway speed. We saw him max out around 22 mph in week nine against Oklahoma State.

His play over the past three years at State, where the 5-5 dynamo fitted Big 12 defenses, proves as much.

Vaughn was named a first team All-American in each of the last two years. He left Kansas State with the school records for receptions (116) and receiving yards (1,280) by a running back. He also ranked third in career rushing yards (3,604), rushing attempts (651), 100-yard rushing games (21), and consecutive 100-yard rushing games (8), all-purpose yards (5,029). game (97.4) and touchdown scores (43).

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Vaughn draws favorable comparisons to former diminutive NFL star Darren Sproles and a no-gimmick player. He is a special player in space and is part of the future of the NFL.

“You can run your offense with him,” McClay said. “He ran between the tackles in high school and ran between the tackles in college. He was very productive in that. He can make plays in space. He can do a variety of things for you. NFL outside of your typical old school football.” There are a lot of pieces in particular. The game is changing and evolving and you have to change and evolve with it. And this is a player who has had success at a very high level.

One of the things I brought in was the number one pick in the draft (5-10 quarterback Bryce Young) is a guy with exceptional spatial awareness and experience. But he is an undersized quarterback who would never have been selected five years ago. So you talk about game . Well this guy got picked first overall and you know size is there but heart and ability are not all those things. And the same goes for deuce.

NFL running back and TCU legend LaDainian Tomlinson is an unabashed fan of the pick by the Cowboys.

“I think the Deuce could be a nightmare out of the backfield,” Tomlinson said on NFL Total Access, “A lot of people are comparing him to Darren Sproles, one of the best out of the backfield running routes, creating mismatches. I look at Deuce Von in the same light. You can put Deuce Von in the slot. There is … there is no way you can stop him with alternate routes running one-on-one. You can also get him out of the backfield, put him on the perimeter …

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“I'm telling you right now, the Cowboys will find a niche and find a way to use Deuce Von's skills.”