Niners No. 7 pick: Vickiel Vaughn

Player profile and analysis for free safety Vickiel Vaughn, selected by the 49ers on Sunday with the No. 254 overall pick in the seventh round of the NFL draft.

Full name Vickiel Vaughn
School: Arkansas
Position: Free safety
Height: 6-foot
Weight: 203
Year: Senior
40-yard dash: 4.62 seconds

Biography: Has been a regular on the field for Arkansas the past four seasons, gaining recognition as a versatile and invaluable performer for the Razorbacks. Also has been their most durable player, as he never missed a game due to an injury. He began his career as a free safety, but has also started at strong safety and weak-side outside linebacker. The hard-hitting safety also has been a force on special teams. Led Arkansas defense with four interceptions - returning one for a touchdown - and was second on team with 83 tackles in 2005 after leading team with 66 tackles in 2004, when he tied for the team lead with two interceptions, returning one 52 yards for a touchdown against South Carolina. Played in all 13 games of his sophomore season at linebacker after beginning his Arkansas career at safety in 2002, when he played in all 14 games as a true freshman. In 49 games at Arkansas, Vaughn started 21 times. He recorded 175 tackles (118 solos) with two stops for losses of 8 yards and two quarterback pressures. He had seven interceptions for 105 yards in returns, including a touchdown and deflected nine passes. He caused four fumbles and had a pair of fumble recoveries. Vaughn's father, Ezekiel, was a high school teammate of Arkansas coach Houston Nutt.

Positives: Ran well at his Arkansas Pro Day, recording a time of 4.09 seconds in the short shuttle and 6.65 seconds in the three-cone drill. Is a well-defined athlete with a lean waist and muscular upper-body frame. Makes quick decisions in coverage and has the deep speed to stay with receivers through their routes. Has recovery quickness and adjusts well to the ball, and can catch it away from his body with large, soft hands. Is a textbook tackler and delivers big hits with good form.

Negatives: Seems a little hesitant in run support, generally losing his balance when getting bounced around by blockers in tight quarters. Despite good technique, can get a little sloppy at times in his wrap-up tackling form, tending to grab at the receivers rather than trying to secure during his hits. Susceptible to the quarterback's pumps and fakes. Needs to show a more fluid motion when changing direction, as he appears to hesitate before redirecting.

Analysis: A seasoned but unpolished player who has the skills to play center field at the next level but needs to develop a more fluid style. Has proven to be a good all-around football player in college and the 49ers are anxious to see what he's capable of around better talent and coaching amid the pro atmosphere.

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