Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

NFL Draft

Tyler Vaughns, WR, USC – NFL Draft Player Profile

After becoming a top 10 USC wide receiver all-time in terms of yardage, where does Tyler Vaughns project in the 2021 NFL Draft?

Tyler Vaughns, Wide Receiver, USC - NFL Draft Player Profile
Nov 21, 2020; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; USC Trojans wide receiver Tyler Vaughns (21) tries to stay on his feet as Utah Utes cornerback Clark Phillips III (8) attempts to tackle Vaughns during the second quarter at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

He was one of his team’s top producers every year of his career. He broke the top ten in all-time receiving yards at USC, joining the likes of Robert Woods, Marqise Lee, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Keyshawn Johnson. USC wide receiver Tyler Vaughns had an excellent collegiate career, and yet, he remains under-recognized as an NFL Draft prospect. It’s time to dive into the dichotomy that is Tyler Vaughns. How does a prospect with so much consistent production fall under the radar?

Not too late to get the PFN 2021 NFL Draft Guide!
Want to find out what PFN Chief Draft Analyst Tony Pauline had to say about prospects who were drafted by your favorite team? It’s not too late to download the PFN 2021 NFL Draft Guide. Click here to download for free!

Tyler Vaughns NFL Draft Profile

  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 184 pounds
  • Position: Wide Receiver
  • School: USC
  • Current Year: Redshirt Senior

Tony Pauline’s Tyler Vaughns Scouting Report

Positives: Four-year starter who was very reliable for USC. Consistently finds ways to separate from opponents, always finds the open spot on the field, and comes back to the ball to make himself an available target. Displays solid eye/hand coordination, possesses strong hands, and snatches the ball out of the air.

Easily adjusts, makes the difficult catch in contorted positions, and uses his frame to protect the pass. Always extends to grab the throw away from his body. Shows terrific focus as well as concentration.

Featured | NFL Draft Prospects 2021: Pauline’s updated big board, player rankings

Negatives: Lacks deep speed and a burst. Struggles in battles. Possesses a thin build.

Analysis: Vaughns was consistent and productive for USC, and he’s a terrific route runner who separates from defenders and catches everything thrown to him. He lacks great deep speed, but Vaughns projects as a fourth or fifth receiver at the next level.

Tyler Vaughns Player Profile

Right now, he’s the second — or even the third — fiddle behind Amon-Ra St. Brown and Drake London, in terms of name recognition. But there was a time when Tyler Vaughns was a top recruit, just like them. Back in 2016, Vaughns was a four-star recruit and a Top 100 prospect on ESPN’s board. Furthermore, he was the 12th-best receiver recruit in the class, and a top 10 player in the state of California.

Vaughns attracted interest from some of the nation’s most prestigious football programs. Among the suitors for Vaughns were Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame. Despite the high-profile interest, however, Vaughns chose to remain in-state. Living just a half-hour from Pasadena, home of the USC Trojans, the proximity ultimately drew Vaughns to his college football destination.

Tyler Vaughns’ college football career at USC

Despite coming in as a highly-rated recruit, Vaughns redshirted his first season at USC. At the time, the Trojans had an already-established group of receivers, led by JuJu Smith-Schuster. As a result, Vaughns had to wait his turn to see the field. In 2017, he moved up the depth chart and enjoyed being on the receiving end of passes from future top-five pick Sam Darnold.

Vaughns accounted for 19.3% of his team’s receiving production in his first year, catching 57 passes for 809 yards and 5 touchdowns. From that point on, Vaughns was a fixture in the Trojans’ receiving room.

Related | USC wide receivers Tyler Vaughns and Amon-Ra St. Brown have NFL potential

The USC wide receiver played in 30 games over the next three seasons, combining for 165 catches, 1,992 yards, and 15 touchdowns, over that span. He averaged 5.5 catches, 66.4 yards, and half a touchdown per game, never falling out of the picture despite additions around him.

After the Pac-12’s truncated 2020 season came to a close, Vaughns officially declared for the 2021 NFL Draft. He’ll join fellow USC wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown on the draft circuit, where both of them will seek to find stable roles at the professional level.

Tyler Vaughns’ best fits in the 2021 NFL Draft

Diagnostically, Vaughns is a surprisingly solid prospect given his draft stock. As Tony explains in his analysis above, Vaughns is a very reliable receiver with good body control and toughness at the catch point. He has some methodical suddenness with his route running, and he’s not a bad athlete. Vaughns’ pro day performance was not great — he logged a Relative Athletic Score of just 1.36, and had a 4.69 40-yard dash, a 31.5-inch vertical, and a 120-inch broad jump. That said, on tape, he shows more speed and burst than what was quantified.

In truth, the concerns are a bit more cosmetic for Vaughns. Standing at 6-foot-2 and 184 pounds, Vaughns is noticeably thin, as Tony notes. Some of the stylistic aspects of his play — the toughness and focus at the catch point — might be more easily impeded by larger, more physical NFL cornerbacks. His middling athleticism only stands out even more at that size.

Vaughns isn’t the most imposing run-after-catch threat, and he’s not nearly as slippery as St. Brown. Additionally, Vaughns will be 24 years old by the start of his NFL career. Therefore, by the time he plays on his next contract, he’ll be 28 years old. So the allotted prime years for Vaughns appear to be lesser than other, younger prospects.

Where does a player like Vaughns project?

Because he’s an older receiver who tested poorly at a light weight, Vaughns feels like a late Day 3 pick at best. His steady college production ensures that he’ll be considered. However, his testing numbers don’t give him any security.

If there’s one thing Vaughns has going for him, it’s that he can provide good depth right away. His lesser RAC ability might limit his interest for teams who value that aspect, but for most teams, he’d be a solid No. 4 or No. 5 receiver, with some special teams experience in his back pocket.

Featured | Schulte’s March 7-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft

Thus, any team that needs more depth at receiver late on Day 3 would be wise to consider Vaughns. The USC wide receiver may never emerge into a full-time starting position, but he has the skill set of a receiver who could earn 400-500 yards a year in a steady rotational role. His high degree of early utility should make him a fairly safe pick to stomach in Round 6 or Round 7.

Want more 2021 NFL Draft prospect news? Want to do your own mock draft?

Dive into PFN’s Free NFL Mock Draft Simulator and test your own drafting acumen. Continue to visit Pro Football Network for NFL news and in-depth analysis. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter (@PFN365) to stay in the loop on all things college football and the NFL Draft landscape.

Advertisement
Advertisement
PFN Mock Draft Simulator

NFL Mock Draft

Arizona Cardinals

Using information from around the league, PFN Chief Draft Analyst and NFL Insider Tony Pauline shares his final 3-Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft.

Trending Articles on PFN

NFL Draft

The 2021 NFL Draft order for all seven rounds is set -- results for all 259 picks will be updated if you happen to...

Fantasy Football

The immense value of Florida TE Kyle Pitts in fantasy football makes him one of the most coveted players in upcoming rookie dynasty drafts.

Detroit Lions

One of the most complete WRs in the class, Amon-Ra St. Brown's dynasty value will only rise as he becomes a popular name in...

NFL

Following the 2021 NFL Draft, what are the crucial 2021 NFL offseason dates and events you need to know before the season commences?