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2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Sione Vaki (DB – Utah)

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Sione Vaki (DB – Utah)

FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL Draft scouting reports before the Combine in March. Here’s a look at Utah defensive back Sione Vaki.

2024 NFL Draft Guide

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Sione Vaki

Sione Vaki (DB – Utah)

6’0” – 208 lbs.

Background:

Three-star recruit out of California in the class of 2019, going on a two-year church mission before starting five of 14 games the following year and finishing with 41 tackles and three pass breakups. Became a full-time starter this year and finished with 51-8.5-2.0, one interception and two breakups, also rushing for 42-317-2 and catching 11-203-3 offensively. Got a special waiver to enter the draft.

Positives:

Pretty thickly-built two-year starter for a major program. Took most of his snaps as a high safety this year, but throughout his career, has almost the same number of snaps from the slot, and only slightly less in the box. Energetic player with a physical temperament and some explosive movement skills. Clean footwork and good balance from his backpedal. Looks fluid when transitioning and flipping his hips; moves like a cornerback. Shows quick reaction times and clean transitions to drive on a spot when playing man coverage from the slot. Was even asked to take a few snaps as a boundary corner during the games reviewed. Uses his hands well to feel routes and stay connected in man, squeezing routes well at the stem. Good timing to deliver hits and dislodge the ball when defending in-breaking routes as a high safety or robber. Willing run supporter who looks fast coming downhill from a high alignment, and is also a regular part of the team’s box. Does a good job of using his hands to work through traffic. Has been a pretty reliable tackler with some explosive traits to help set a physical tone defensively. Looks fast run-blitzing off the edge. Also played some running back.

Negatives:

Could be more consistent about breaking down in space; comes in too hot and misses tackles. Would like to see some more conservative angles and discipline in the run fits; some tendency to get sucked in and end up giving up the corner when playing in the box. Arm length looks closer to average, limiting his radius. Runs well with both receivers and tight ends but may be a bit small to work against inline “Y” types. On-ball production wasn’t excellent in school, with just one career interception in two seasons.

Summary:

A very good athlete who did a bit of everything in school, and who combines the physicality of a box safety with the smooth movement skills of a slot cornerback. At times, his energetic style of play can undermine the team’s run fits or lead to missed tackles, but it should be possible for him to make some strides as he becomes more disciplined. A traits-based prospect whose versatility and smooth coverage skills should get second-day consideration.

Projection: Round 3

More 2024 NFL Draft Prospects: Defensive Backs

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