Impact fits from the NFL draft

Vaccaro among selections expected to have immediate impact this season

Originally Published: May 3, 2013
By Matt Bowen | Special to ESPN Insider
Kenny VaccaroAl Bello/Getty ImagesKenny Vaccaro should be able to fit right into New Orleans' defensive scheme.

Looking back at the 2013 NFL draft, which teams made the right picks to land rookie prospects that fit their schemes on offense or defense? The coach of the picking team would tell you "All of them." But there are always some cases where the transition is slower because what a player does best isn't exactly what the system calls for.

But there are some seemingly perfect fits. Here are five players that should provide an immediate impact because their skill sets mesh with the Sunday game plan.


Kenny Vaccaro, SS, New Orleans Saints

Blitzes don't always get home. Remember that. And no matter what pressure schemes Rob Ryan draws up on the chalkboard this season down in New Orleans, the safety position is vital to the success of the defense. That's why I like the idea of adding Vaccaro to pair with veteran Malcolm Jenkins to give the Saints two athletic safeties that can move, adjust and cover in pressure situations.

Vaccaro doesn't have elite straight-line speed (4.63 40-yard dash), but safety has never been a stopwatch position. It is more about angles to the ball, range and the footwork (plant and drive, hip flexibility, burst) coming out of your pedal to break on the throw. This allows you to play at a 4.5 or even a 4.4 speed on tape when you get a jump on the ball.

With Vaccaro, the Saints just added a player who brings versatility to the position.


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Matt Bowen

Special to ESPN Insider
Former NFL safety Matt Bowen is a veteran of four teams over seven seasons, and now provides analysis for a number of media outlets.