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2019 Draft: With 61st pick, Rams select TAYLOR RAPP, S, WASHINGTON

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  • 2019 Draft: With 61st pick, Rams select TAYLOR RAPP, S, WASHINGTON

    Taylor Rapp, 5-11/208

    Safety

    Washington


    Taylor Rapp Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

    Strengths:
    Good instincts
    Excellent blitzer
    Very good around the line of scrimmage
    Tough defender coming downhill
    Physical
    Good run defender
    Quality tackler
    Quickness
    Comes up with some splash plays
    Reads quarterbacks' eyes
    Functional in zone coverage
    Intelligent
    Disciplined
    Starting strong safety for the NFL
    Operates well in short zone
    Should be able to play quickly
    Experienced and successful against good college talent
    Should be able to start quickly
    Good character
    Hard worker
    Leader
    Durable


    Weaknesses:
    Not a free safety
    Has limitations in pass coverage
    Can't play deep consistently
    Does not have the range to play deep consistently
    Has some tightness in lower leg
    Not a safety to play man coverage


    Summary: Florida and LSU fight over which school is known as "DBU," but another school that should factor into the equation is Washington. The Huskies have produced a lot of good NFL talent in recent years, and the 2019 NFL Draft could have multiple Huskies defensive backs go in the early rounds. Among them is junior safety Taylor Rapp, who was a 3-year starter. Rapp has received good preparation and coaching from Jimmy Lake, his defensive coordinator, who was a good defensive backs coach in the NFL. Given the weak class of safeties in the 2019 NFL Draft, Rapp could be one of the first safeties off the board in April.

    With Budda Baker starting as the free safety, Rapp had a strong debut as a freshman starter. He totaled 53 tackles with two passes broken up, one forced fumble and four interceptions that season. In his sophomore year, Rapp recorded 59 tackles with two sacks and one interception. He then recorded 59 tackles with five sacks, four passes broken up and two interceptions in 2018 while playing well for Washington.

    Rapp would fit best as a strong safety in the NFL and looks like he could be a starting strong safety early in his pro career. While he is not a thumper, Rapp has good instincts that turn him into a solid defender. His best attribute could be his blitzing, as he is very good at chasing down the quarterback. He is a quality tackler and run defender who plays well near the line of scrimmage. As a pro, Rapp should be a solid run defender and eighth man in the box.

    Sources say that Rapp has some limitations in pass coverage. While he is not a throwaway in coverage, he does not have good range downfield and should not play deep consistently. He could function for a play or two, but he could be a liability downfield in deep coverage due to his range limitations if he is asked to play there a lot. He has some tightness in the lower leg and is not a safety who can contribute in man coverage. Thus, Rapp is more of a strong safety although some evaluators debate that.

    In speaking to sources at five teams, they thought that Rapp would at worst be a second-round pick. A couple of teams had him graded as a late first-round, early second-round pick. Rapp has impressed evaluators with not only his play but also his makeup.

    "I think [Rapp will] go higher second, and possibly late one because he is so clean and a top-character guy," said one NFC general manager. "He is one of the hardest working and smart players in the draft. Yes, he has some limited tools, but some team teams prefer safe picks in that range."

    Another attribute that teams like about Rapp is the development he received under former NFL defensive backs coach and current Washington defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake. Evaluators like how Rapp was prepared by Lake and can do a variety of things on the field. One college director said going back to older tape before his junior year Rapp did more free safety work and they like his ability to be interchangeable.

    In the 2019 NFL Draft, Rapp looks like a first- or second-round pick.


    Player Comparison: Mike Brown. Rapp reminds me of Mike Brown, who had a good career playing for the Chicago Bears. For a comparison to players currently playing in the NFL, Rapp could be a lesser version of Landon Collins or D.J. Swearinger.

    NFL Matches: Indianapolis, Los Angeles Rams, New England, Arizona, San Francisco, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Tennessee

    Late in Round 1, Rapp has a few options. Indianapolis could use more talent at safety, and Rapp's intangibles would fit in well with the culture the Colts are building. The Patriots have some old safeties and could stand to get younger. Rapp could make sense for New England with the 32nd pick.

    The Rams could consider Rapp late in the first round after losing Lamarcus Joyner in free agency. Staying in the NFC West, Arizona and San Francisco could be options for Rapp at the top of the second round. The Cardinals have to replace some veterans they lost in free agency, while San Francisco needs more talent at safety.

    Tampa Bay made a mistake passing on Derwin James in the 2018 NFL Draft, and the Buccaneers need a safety to go with Justin Evans. Staying in the NFC South, Carolina needs a safety to pair with Eric Reid, and I would be surprised if the Panthers pass on Rapp if he gets to their second-round pick.

    The Titans could use a strong safety to pair with Kevin Byard.



  • #2
    Player Bio
    Rapp's family has Chinese ancestry, but he is a dual citizen between the United States and Canada. He promised his brother, Austin, that he would play major college football -- a promise that has been fulfilled. He was an All-Washington pick from Bellingham that earned top 25 safety recruit grades from scouting services. Rapp broke his left hand in spring practices his freshman year, but played with a cast. That toughness impressed on coaches his willingness to fight through adversity, and he eventually won a starting role on defense in 10 of 14 games played in 2016 (53 tackles, four interceptions, two pass breakups). Rapp was the Pac-12 Championship Defensive MVP after intercepting two passes in the contest, returning one for a score. He also was named the Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year and a Freshman All-American for his efforts throughout the season. He started 12 of 13 games played as a sophomore, garnering first-team All-Pac-12 honors (in academics as well as on the field) and posting 59 stops, 3.5 for loss, two sacks, and an interception. Multiple All-American honors came his way in 2018, as did another first-team all-conference nod after he made plays around the line of scrimmage (59 tackles, six for loss, five sacks) and in coverage (two interceptions, five pass breakups while also finding himself around the ball (three fumble recoveries).

    Analysis
    By Lance Zierlein
    NFL Analyst

    Draft Projection: Round 2

    Overview
    Versatile three-year starter who combines tenacity with football intelligence to play at a consistently high level. Rapp isn't big, but he's well-built and durability hasn't been a concern despite his physical nature as a striker. He played all over the field this year and might be best-suited in a mix between down safety and two-high looks with the ability to cover tight ends. His coverage talent is average, but his run support effort and open-field tackling are clearly defined strengths that make him a relatively safe selection.

    Strengths
    Good size with compact frame and well-built chest
    Mister Fix-It asked to play all over the field for the defense
    Football intelligence considered top notch
    Despite compact frame, moves well
    Able to handle man cover duties on tight ends
    Impressive talent to diagnose and flow as box safety
    Recognizes run lane development like a running back
    Takes accurate pursuit angles
    Hip sink and footwork are catalysts for open-field tackling
    Always comes to balance and widens out to tackle
    Loves to thump
    Gifted kickoff cover man

    Weaknesses
    Hands out punishment but absorbs his share as well
    Can trigger a little earlier in run support from two-high
    Average lateral burst as open-field tackler
    Might be out-paced by NFL runners in his race to the edge
    Ability to range over the top appears to be just average
    Ball production has dropped since freshman season
    Routes to the throw can be fairly conservative
    Might have left some interceptions and breakups on the field

    Comment


    • #3
      Dan Shonka
      @Ourlads_Shonka

      #Rams #TaylorRappVersatile prospect with the ability to play close to the line in the box, the outside flat and the deep hole. Often aligns in the box at linebacker depth showing instinctive reactions and quick change of direction versus the run. Natural knee bender.

      9:21 PM - 26 Apr 2019

      Comment


      • #4
        Shane P. Hallam
        @ShanePHallam

        S Taylor Rapp had an injury concern and may have led to the slow 40, but he is a great player. He can cover TEs and is big enough. Hits low and hard too. His athleticism is average at best, but solid all around safety. Great pick by the #Rams here

        9:22 PM - 26 Apr 2019

        Comment


        • #5
          Pro Football Focus
          @PFF

          Taylor Rapp's passer rating when targeted of just 12.0 was by FAR the lowest mark in the Pac-12! #NFLDraft

          9:22 PM - 26 Apr 2019

          Comment


          • #6
            Gil Brandt
            @Gil_Brandt

            Great value for Rams there with Taylor Rapp. Slow 40 pushed him down board. But he'll play pissed off, making teams pay for passing on him. Great fit with Wade Phillips.

            9:23 PM - 26 Apr 2019

            Comment


            • #7
              Rob Rang
              @RobRang

              The @dallascowboys and @RamsNFL waited a long time to make their first picks of the 2019 NFL draft but I love their selections. Trysten Hill is an absolute terror on the inside and Taylor Rapp is the best open-field tackler in this class, bar none.

              9:27 PM - 26 Apr 2019

              Comment


              • #8

                Comment


                • #9

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Nick View Post
                    Shane P. Hallam
                    @ShanePHallam

                    S Taylor Rapp had an injury concern and may have led to the slow 40, but he is a great player. He can cover TEs and is big enough. Hits low and hard too. His athleticism is average at best, but solid all around safety. Great pick by the #Rams here

                    9:22 PM - 26 Apr 2019
                    Not what you want to read about the team's first pick in the draft, but we have to trust the smart people that stay employed by making such choices.

                    Let's hope this pick helps eliminate all the missed tackles we've seen the past few years.


                    gap

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      so curious--
                      who will be the free safety?
                      JJ3 is a strong
                      Im assuming rapp is a strong as well.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        2019 #61 Los Angeles Rams - Taylor Rapp, S, Washington
                        By NFL Draft Scout
                        2 mins

                        TAYLOR RAPP | WASHINGTON | #7 | JR | Bellingham, WA | 12.22.97 (age 21) | 5116 | 208 | 2nd RD | 8.0 | Wasserman

                        From the 2019 NFL Draft Bible (click here to purchase)

                        OUTLOOK: Chris Petersen has helped the Washington return to national prominence in part due to a focus on recruiting OKGs, or what he calls "Our Kind of Guys." A perfect example of this is Rapp, a Chinese-American from a city just south of the Canadian border who began his college career labeled as "just" a three-star talent from recruiting experts. In the three years since, however, Rapp has earned recognition as the PAC-12's Freshman Defensive Player of the Year, a First Team all-conference choice at safety as a sophomore, a consensus All-American in 2018 and emerged as one of the cleanest NFL prospects available, regardless of position, in the country. Sure, ball-skills and straight-line speed are important but the single most critical element to safety play remains being a reliable open-field tackler. He has defied odds his entire life and is expected to be the highest-drafted Asian player ever in NFL history (Ed Wang, Round 5, Pick 140 in 2010).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Akita Ram View Post
                          so curious--
                          who will be the free safety?
                          JJ3 is a strong
                          Im assuming rapp is a strong as well.
                          Eric Weddle...
                          Si vous croyez en vous, que vous avez de la fierté, et que vous ne lâchez jamais, vous serez un gagnant.
                          Le prix de la victoire est chère, mais la récompense en vaut la peine.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Akita Ram View Post
                            so curious--
                            who will be the free safety?
                            JJ3 is a strong
                            Im assuming rapp is a strong as well.
                            Weddle will be the FS this year. I believe Johnson is capable of playing FS, and if I remember correctly, was projected as more of a FS by some coming out of BC.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Rawr View Post
                              Weddle will be the FS this year. I believe Johnson is capable of playing FS, and if I remember correctly, was projected as more of a FS by some coming out of BC.
                              This was from his NFL.com profile when he was coming out...

                              BOTTOM LINE Ascending defender with the experience, athleticism and ball skills to play as a high safety or in man coverage. Johnson is well above average as a ball-tracker and has the soft hands to finish at the catch-point against receivers. He has decent size but won't be a banger as a tackler, however, his ability in coverage has NFL personnel men buzzing as a potential early starter in the league.

                              Comment

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