With the 15th pick in the 2013 NFL draft the New Orleans Saints selected Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro. With this pick it is evident that the Saints were more concerned about their secondary than they were about their pass-rush situation. I don’t think this was the right pick for the Saints to make because they failed to address their need for a game-changing pass rusher. There were still plenty of effective pass rushers on the board, most notably Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones. I would grade this pick a C for the Saints because their need for a pass rusher was much more needed than a safety.
Now that the dust has settled let’s take a look at what type of player the Saints drafted. It is no secret that the Saints needed some help in the secondary after giving up a record 7,042 yards of offense last season. Vaccaro figures to be an instant upgrade at safety since Roman Harper and Malcolm Jenkins are arguably two of the worst safeties in the NFL. Vaccaro is a safety that can do it all, and he does a very good job defending both the run and the pass. Last season Vaccaro had 92 tackles, five passes defended, and two interceptions.
Vaccaro will excel in man-coverage and is also a very excellent tackler. However, Vaccaro can sometimes get overly aggressive and will need to play more disciplined on the next level. Furthermore, Vaccaro also needs to become more of a ballhawk on the next level as he has not proven that he can generate interceptions consistently.
With the addition of Vaccaro the Saints’ secondary will be much better next season. Vaccaro will be a good player, but I don’t think it was a very good pick for the Saints. The Saints needed to address their pass-rush and now will have to wait until the third round to get some help on the defensive line.
For more information on Kenny Vaccaro check out his 2013 NFL Draft Profile here!