View pictures of RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn, the 76th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have yet again added to what could be an absolutely loaded offense in 2020.
After addressing their most significant offensive need on Thursday night with first-round offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs, the Buccaneers used their third-round pick in the 2020 draft to add another weapon to a star-studded arsenal surrounding new quarterback Tom Brady. With the 76th overall selection, Tampa Bay tabbed versatile Vanderbilt running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn as the newest member of that deep and varied attack.
The 5-10, 218-pound Vaughn put together a pair of 1,000-yard rushing seasons in the rugged SEC and also had 41 receptions over those two seasons. He also scored 24 total touchdowns in that span and averaged 6.4 yards per carry as a Commodore. Vaughn spent his first two seasons at Illinois before transferring into the SEC.
"He's a hard-nosed, intense, competitive kid," said Buccaneers Director of Player Personnel John Spytek. "He transfers to Vanderbilt from Illinois, goes into the SEC and has back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons. You've always got to respect a guy that can rush for 1,000 yards in the SEC; we all know it's the best conference in college football. He's also proven himself to be a pretty reliable player in the passing game as well. So there's a lot to like here."
Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians has said during this offseason that he would like to add a dual-threat back who could be a factor in the passing game, not just on screens but split out on the line of scrimmage in order to run receiver-like routes.
"He's a guy who can certainly help us in that realm," said Spytek. "As he continues to grow as a player he'll get more opportunities and he's got the ability to do a lot of things that we want a running back to do in the passing game. So it made a lot of sense from that standpoint. He's a good runner and a good receiver out of the backfield. He's got the ability to detach and run some of the routes that Coach Arians likes to do."
The Buccaneers remain high on third-year running back Ronald Jones, who took over as the team's starter midway through last season and finished with more than 1,000 yards from scrimmage. However, running back Peyton Barber departed in free agency and the Bucs believed there was room for more than one running back to make an impact in their offense in 2020. The team also liked Vaughn's competitive nature and thought he could make a difference in the running back room, just like first and second-round picks Tristan Wirfs and Antoine Winfield will do in their respective meeting rooms.
"I don't think there's that many teams in the league who have just one featured runner anymore," said Spytek. "That's kind of gone by the wayside. There's a couple, but most teams are kind of doing it by committee. Again, as I said with Antoine and Tristan, this is about adding a good player to our roster who's going to compete every day. He's going to force those around him to compete as well. My experience has been, when you get a bunch of people in the room together who are driven to be successful at their profession, it raises the entire level of play of that specific position room. That's what we're hoping that we'll get with this injection of young talent and competitiveness."
Including his two years at Illinois, Vaughn played in 46 games and ran 572 times for 3,296 yards and 30 touchdowns, averaging 5.8 yards per carry. He also caught 66 passes for another 648 yards and three scores.
Vaughn is the third player the Buccaneers have drafted out of Vanderbilt's program in 45 years, all of whom have been third-round picks. Tampa Bay took Vanderbilt CB Myron Lewis in that round in 2010 and linebacker Jamie Duncan in the same frame in 1998.
Barring a trade, the Buccaneers are finished with their second day of drafting. The NFL will conduct Rounds 4-7 on Saturday and Tampa Bay has one pick each in the fifth and sixth rounds and two in the seventh round.