Texas S Kenny Vaccaro was selected 15th overall by the New Orleans Saints in the 2013 NFL Draft and is the 16th first-round pick in the Mack Brown era.
“I am excited,” said Vaccaro. “The Saints were my last visit, and I had a good feeling about it. I am ready to do whatever the Saints want me to do.”
“I think he’s got very good football intelligence,” said Saints head coach Sean Payton. “Part of being a pressure guy from the back end is anticipation, snap count, and disguise. I think he’s an instinctive player, and you see that on tape. He’s got a high football IQ – I think that’s important.
“I think he’s got that toughness and that suddenness that you’d like at that position. I think he brings a physical dimension to the game he plays with. He’s been well-coached. They do a great job there defensively. There were a lot of things we liked about him.”
Vaccaro becomes the Longhorns' tenth Top 20 pick in just the last 10 years following Earl Thomas (14, Seattle Seahawks, 2010), Brian Orakpo (13, Washington Redskins, 2009), Michael Griffin (19, Tennessee Titans, 2007), Aaron Ross (20, New York Giants, 2007), Vince Young (3, Tennessee Titans, 2006), Michael Huff (7, Oakland Raiders, 2006), Cedric Benson (4, Chicago Bears, 2005), Derrick Johnson (15, Kansas City Chiefs, 2005), and Roy Williams (7, Detroit Lions, 2004).
“Kenny Vaccaro is one of the best football players we have ever had,” said Texas head coach Mack Brown. “He is tough, he’s smart, he’s a playmaker and he practiced like he was in a game everyday. He is very passionate about football. He brings leadership and he brings toughness. “
Mack Brown has now had at least one first-round selection in 12 of the last 18 drafts and a total of 20 first-round picks (16 Texas/four UNC) in the last 16 drafts.
Thirteen Texas DBs have now been selected in the last 12 years including Vaccaro, Aaron Williams (2011 – Buffalo Bills, second round), Curtis Brown (2011, Pittsburgh Steelers, third round), Chykie Brown (2011, Baltimore Ravens, fifth round), Thomas, Griffin, Ross, Tarell Brown (2007 - San Francisco 49ers, fifth round), Huff, Cedric Griffin (2006 - Minnesota Vikings, second round), Nathan Vasher (2004 - Chicago Bears, fourth round), Rod Babers (2003 - New York Giants, fourth round), and Quentin Jammer (2002 - San Diego Chargers, first round).