NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Kenny Vaccaro, Safety, Texas All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Kenny Vaccaro
Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro

Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: Safety Kenny Vaccaro

Player Information:

Kenny Vaccaro, Safety, University of Texas, 6’0″, 214 pounds Hometown: Brownwood, TX


NFL Combine:

40 time: 4.63

225-pound bench: 15 reps

Vertical: 38″

News and Notes:

Considered by many to be this year’s top safety prospect and a sure first round pick … was draft-eligible last year but stayed at Texas after receiving a second round grade. . .Uncle is A.J. Johnson, who spent seven years with the Washington Redskins and was a member of the Super Bowl XXVI-winning team. . .was a starter as a sophomore at UT … arguably the best safety in the Big 12 as a junior in 2011, posting 82 tackles, eight tackles for loss, two sacks, eight passes broken up and two interceptions. . In 2012 he was second-team All Conference with 107 stops, four tackles for a loss and five forced turnovers.

 What they’re saying about him: 

  • “Prototypical size and build for the position. Possesses a high-cut frame with good overall musculature. Shows very good straight-line speed, agility, balance and hip flexibility. Athleticism for coverage duties are enhanced by Vaccaro’s vision and instincts. Quickly locates the ball and shows an understanding of route-progression, rarely getting caught out of position.”
  • “NFL starting combo safety material with a very good blend of overall strength and athleticism. Often used as a nickel back despite a thick overall build. Very loose hips and good overall change-of-direction ability. Locks onto slot receivers at the line and has the agility and straight-game speed to stay with them on out routes and downfield. Physical with receivers trying to block him in the run game, has the strength to rip off and make a stop. Solid open-field tackler, uses great effort and his upper-body strength to drag down ball carriers. Strong off the edge as a blitzer, has bend to turn the corner and gets physical with running backs standing in his way. Flashes the hands and body control to catch passes away from his body. Good change of direction ability and shows the range to play the half-field in Cover Two. Attacks downhill against the run well, running the alley aggressively from deep-half coverage.”



Video Analysis:

  • Very fluid hips and changes direction well
  • Closes very well on the ball carrier.  Solid open-field tackler
  • Drives through the tackle and looks to initiate contact
  • Has the range to be an effective cover 2 safety
  • Strong off the edge and blitzes effectively
  • Fiery and has a “mean streak”

If drafted by the Packers: compares Vaccaro to none other than current Packers safety Morgan Burnett, so he’s clearly a fit.  If Vaccaro is still on the board when the Packers select in round one, this is a no-brainer selection.  That scenario is not likely in looking at many of the mock drafts out there, but draft day always holds a few surprises.  Vaccaro may also be one that Ted Thompson looks to move up for, if he feels that safety is enough of a pressing need.  Vaccaro is clearly an immediate-impact player and starter from day one.  He is one who could help finally ease the loss of Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins two seasons ago.  He’s a very confident player who would immediately contribute to a strong locker room and help fill the void left by the departure of long-time veteran Charles Woodson.  Vaccaro’s biggest need areas are his tendency to sneak a peak into the backfield instead of playing his responsibility and pursuing too far up field, taking himself out of the play at times.  These are very common for a defensive back coming out of college and can be helped with effective coaching.  Adding Vaccaro to the defensive backfield would instantly improve the team’s pass and run defense.  It would also potentially shore up the defensive backfield for several years in Green Bay.


Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on

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5 thoughts on “NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Kenny Vaccaro, Safety, Texas

  1. according to stroh the Pack wouldn’t even think about drafting him regardless of round.

    he runs a 4.6 and we all know that TT has “never drafted a safety that’s run over a 4.5.”

    right stroh?

    1. Pretty much. Just saying Thompson like his safeties w/ speed and range. Vaccarro helps his cause by being able to play nickel CB, so his versatility in that regard would help his case.

  2. Definetely would like to see him with the Packers. Most “experts” say he’ll be gone by 26, however. Whoever those “experts” are.

    1. Agreed. He’s the kind of guy the Packers D could use, but I think there are too many needs that need to be addressed to trade away the picks required to move up to get him.

      Although a player and a pick to move up? Maybe, depending on the player.

  3. After watching his highlights package, one of the first impressions is this kid doesn’t shy away from contact. Also, stays after a play and runs people down. Not bad in run support too. Good player that any team would want on their roster.

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