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Saints Select Safety Kenny Vacarro

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints selected Texas safety Kenny Vacarro with their first round selection, the 15th-overall, in the 2013 NFL Draft on Thursday night.

The 6-foot, 214-pound Vacarro, who is 23-years old, was a starter for two complete seasons at Texas, in 2011, and 2012, while also starting six games in his sophomore year of 2010.

Vacarro, who can play both safety spots, as well as the defensive back position, accumulated 231 career tackles at Texas, including 158 solo tackles, and four interceptions.

In 2012, Vacarro had 92 tackles, including 58 solo tackles, and two interceptions. Those stats were good enough for him to be named an All-American by Pro Football Weekly.

Vaccaro disappointed at the NFL combine, running a 4.63 in the  40-yard dash, which may have caused him to slip in the draft.

Interesting, Vacarro who was a Longhorn for eight years, playing for the Early High School Loghorns, in Texas, before playing his college football at Texas, is the nephew of former NFL cornerback A.J. Johnson, who played for the Washington Redskins.

Vacarro becomes the third player from the University of Texas that the Saints have drafted in the first round, joining Russell Erxleben (1979) and Ricky Williams (1999). He also becomes the fourth defensive back that the Saints have ever selected in the opening round, and the first since taking cornerback Patrick Robinson, back in 2010.

The Saints are hoping that Vacarro will help a defense which gave up an NFL record 7,042 yards last season.

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