Watch: Best Moment of the NFL Draft Reminds the World Why Young Men Need Fathers
The 2023 NFL Draft is officially in the books, and if you’re like most football fans, you probably watched most of the first day — and very little of the last day.
And that would be a shame because in a draft that had its fair share of incredible moments, you may have missed the best of them.
That genuinely touching and emotional moment came in the 6th round of the annual player selection meeting on Saturday.
With the 212th pick of the NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected Kansas State running back Deuce Vaughn.
Deuce’s father, Chris Vaughn, is the assistant director of college scouting for the Cowboys and, well, just take a look at the man’s reaction and try not to get a little emotional yourself:
Here’s the emotional reaction in the Cowboys’ war room when the team used the 212th overall pick in the sixth round on Kansas St. RB Deuce Vaughn, son of Cowboys’ assistant director of college scouting, Chris Vaughn. pic.twitter.com/wC5dWw7IJp
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 29, 2023
The elder Vaughn, seated in the lower left of the screen, emotionally makes his way across the Cowboys “war room” to congratulations before making that customary call to the team’s latest draft pick.
This video of the phone call from Cowboys assistant director of college scouting Chris Vaughn to his son – Kansas State RB Deuce Vaughn – when the team picked him today is so awesome.
The pride and emotion Chris shows is everything.
(🎥: @dallascowboys) pic.twitter.com/kBbtExtUjH
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 30, 2023
“Hey buddy,” Chris said on the call.
“How’s it going?” his son responded, surely aware of the likely reason his father was calling him.
“It’s going good, this is dad,” Chris said. “My phone wasn’t working, but look here man. You want to come to work with me next week?”
“I wouldn’t mind that at all,” Deuce answered.
The sixth-round pick then spoke to various other key figures in the Cowboys organization, including misty-eyed owner Jerry Jones, head coach Mike McCarthy and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.
Amid the heartfelt congratulations and jokes about his father’s punctuality, you’ll notice another key sentiment echoed throughout all of the remarks made to Deuce Vaughn: Family.
Whether it’s Jones or Schottenheimer talking about how “special” this was for Deuce’s “daddy,” or McCarthy repeating how happy he was for the Vaughn “family,” it’s clear that this late-round draft pick carried a bit more emotional heft than they typically do.
Which brings this back to the Vaughns.
Look, there’s no way of knowing or quantifying exactly how much Chris helped Deuce reach the absolute apex of football leagues. He may have helped a little, he may have helped a ton — but it’s virtually indisputable that he helped some.
According to high school composite scouting site 247 Sports, Deuce was a positively unremarkable three-star prospect out of high school, ranking a lowly 1,235th nationally as a prospect. For a frame of reference, there were only 259 young men drafted into the NFL this year.
To be clear, this isn’t to say that Deuce couldn’t have made it to the NFL without his father, but given his father’s clear emotional investment (to say nothing of time and resource investment) it’s clear that Chris Vaughn helped in some way elevate his son from a top 1,300 football player to a top 250 football player.
The numbers speak for themselves. As general stupidity and crime rates soar, so too is fatherlessness in America.
Fatherlessness was a problem that was glaring in 2018. Several race-based riots, mass shootings, and, oh yes, a whole pandemic later has not made that problem any better in the last five years.
There are countless tragic stories of athletes who crash and burn at various stages of their careers, and it’s hard not to notice a lack of fatherly direction in almost all of those cases.
Deuce Vaughn, thus far, has done the complete opposite of crashing and burning.
Even if Deuce never plays an NFL snap, it’s hard not to view his career trajectory as a total success given where he started (it doesn’t help he’s undersized at 5-foot-5.) And while his father may not have been the difference, based on the emotional reaction of his dad and the rest of the Cowboys brass, it’s clear that Deuce’s father was a difference in getting his son to the NFL.
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