As my colleague, Gus Kattengell, noted yesterday: pretty much any defensive player the Saints chose with the 15th overall pick in the NFL Draft would have been an improvement on last year's historically bad defense. So New Orleans surprised no one by picking a defensive player and chose someone many consider to be the best safety in the draft, Kenny Vaccaro of the University of Texas.
Obviously, less than a day since he was drafted, it's impossible to tell what kind of impact Vaccaro will have on the Saints' secondary. Now, college football and Saints experts and die-hard fans can tell you all you need to know about Vaccaro's Longhorns career and what pundits are saying about his athleticism. But since all parties involved want this to be a long-term and prosperous relationship, it's appropriate we go a little deeper. So here are three facts about the Saints' new Safety.
1. He has over 40 tattoos, most of which are religious — Last season, some idiot wrote a ridiculous article about San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick and his tattoos, once again proving that stereotypes die hard. Physically speaking, a glance at Vaccaro can remind you of the 49er's quarterback. Like Kaepernick, Vaccaro's arm tattoos are mostly about family and religion. Texassports.com reported that Vaccaro's tattoos "include a depiction of [Jesus] Christ reigning on earth through a sketch of Jesus holding the world together, the quote, "Walk by faith, not by sight," and the recognition of sin existing in the world by an image of the earth being broken open." Vaccaro's ink also references his mother and late father.
2. He has two connections to the Washington Redskins - Remember the Saints opening game last season? The one that proved to be Redskins' quarterback Robert Griffin III's coming out party and the first evidence that the Saints season was going to be a bad one? Yea, you'd be forgiven if Who Dats have blocked that one from memory. But while at the University of Texas, it's likely that Vaccaro was watching the game and rooting for Griffin. That's because they grew up together and have been friends for most of their lives. Now Vaccaro is playing for the team Griffin lit up for 320 passing yards last season.
Vaccaro's connection with Washington go even deeper. His uncle, A.J. Johnson, played on the 1992 Super Bowl Champion Redskins as a defensive back.
3. He's a prolific Instagrammer - Since joining the social picture site six months ago, Vaccaro has uploaded over 260 photos (and counting). The pictures range from memes to adorable shots of his son to humor and even an artsy piece or two. OK, it's not high art or a professional photographer's Instagram, but he's young and already has more photos online than any other Saints player. So there's that.