– Texas S Kenny Vaccaro is thought to be the top safety in this year’s draft, the type of player who might even sneak into the top 10 of the draft at a position where players don’t generally go that high.
– On Sunday, Vaccaro explained why he thinks he should be considered in that range and why he’s the best safety in the draft.
On Earl Thomas: “Me and Earl talk all the time. He’s just constantly reminding me to do my thing, and a football player’s going to be a football player.”
How does your game compare to his game? “I just try to mold my game around his passion for the game. My freshman year I used to watch him run around the field, practicing full speed, full intensity. So I try to model my game after his.”
On possibly being taken high in the draft: “I think I can bring a lot to a team being versatile and being able to play a number of positions.”
Height, weight? “6-0, 214”
On his versatility: “I played both safeties, strong and free. I played nickel. I played dime. In some instances I played corner. We had two great corners. But most of the time I played corner in one on ones in practice.”
Going against Tavon: “Me and Tavon were going at it all game. He’s a great player. I think I did pretty good. I would say he’s one of the most explosive players in the country and I’d say I was right there with him.”
On his teammate, Goodwin: “Goodwin has world class speed. He’s gonna run off on anybody, but I tried to stick with him.”
Safeties aren’t drafted high. Is the position underrated? “I think people are starting to appreciate safeties more, now that tight ends are turning into freaks and controlling the middle of the field. So you’ve got to have a safety who can cover and come up and hit.”
Why didn’t you go to an all star game? “Honestly I thought my four years of tape were good enough. I thought I could get some extra work training with my position coach and my DBs coach and in the weight room. So that’s just my decision.”
Do you keep up with who needs a safety? “I love football and I keep up with all that stuff.”
Why did Texas struggle this year? “We had some big injuries, we also had young linebackers, and when you play the BIG 12 offenses with a fast tempo its hard for guys to learn on the go. So we struggled for weeks on weeks just trying to get guys lined up.”
On players leaving early: “I think leaving early is a decision you make with your family. Earl left early. It depends on the person.”
Are you the best safety in the draft? “I think I bring the most to the table.
– One of the Rams’ biggest needs this offseason is a free safety as incumbent starter Craig Dahl is an unrestricted free agent. With two picks in the first round, Vaccaro would seem to make a lot of sense to fill that void but it remains to be seen if he’ll even last that long or if the Rams think that highly of him. Rams coach Jeff Fisher showed he was willing to take a Texas safety in the first round in Tennessee as he spent the 19th overall pick on Michael Griffin in 2007. Could Vaccaro be next?
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