Taylor Rapp – Safety
School: University of Washington
Weight: 200 pounds
Taylor Rapp NFL Draft Profile
Top 3 Player Traits
Rapp has arguably the best ball skills for a safety in this class, with seven career interceptions and six passes defensed over his three years in a Husky uniform. He was consistently able to not only find the ball, but get his hands on it, and it didn’t take Pac-12 quarterbacks long to figure out that they shouldn’t throw the ball in his direction.
Whenever the defense allowed him to sit back and play center field, Rapp dominated the middle of the field. He has incredible speed sideline to sideline that allows him to use his full skill set to tackle in run support and assist in coverage. Rapp flies to the football, and no one is going to stop him.
The biggest knock on Rapp actually comes from one of his biggest strengths. Rapp is regarded as one of the best hitters in this class, and he knows how to come downhill and thump, it reminds Seattle football fans of Kam Chancellor. He was excellent playing in the box and has the strength to take down ball carriers in open space.
3 Player Traits In Need Of Improvement
Some scouts have rated Rapp as a free safety, which is what he was used at in college, while others rate him as a strong safety due to his size and strength. If teams can’t find a fit for him, he might slide down some draft boards. It isn’t a huge knock, because he should be able to excel at either position, but NFL teams might be hesitant to use their first-round pick on him.
While Rapp is listed at 6’0 tall, he will probably measure in under that, most likely around 5’10 or so. He’s around the same height as Earl Thomas, but if he needs to come down and cover a tight end in man, while he has the speed to turn and run with them, he doesn’t have the prototypical size. His size also affects him on screenplays when he’s being blocked by a bigger receiver
While Rapp is able to run with receivers along the outside, he isn’t always the fastest at getting his hips around. Every once in a while that leads to him getting beat over the top. It doesn’t happen very often in college due to his great makeup speed, but it could happen more often at the NFL level.
NFL Team Fits
The Seahawks are losing Earl Thomas to free agency, and who better to replace him than a hometown hero like Rapp? He fits perfectly into the team’s defensive scheme and would ease the transition into the new era of the Seahawks defense while keeping the same identity that the Legion of Boom gave them.
Kansas City Chiefs
Eric Berry is past his prime and has had trouble getting on the field over the last two seasons. Rapp is the perfect player to replace him and would help the Chiefs develop a new identity on defense. He also gives them a young player in the secondary to build around, and if they want to get to the Super Bowl, they need to sure up their secondary.
The Raiders are another team that needs to find an identity in the secondary after cutting Obi Melifonwu, Reggie Nelson aging, and Karl Joseph not working out, Rapp seems like the perfect player to add with one of their three first round picks. He would be a great pairing with former first-round pick Gareon Conley and might help the Raiders establish their defense.
NFL Player Comparison
Rapp has very similar size, speed, and range to Thomas. Both of them are able to come downhill and hit hard, and able to sit back over the top and play centerfield. He seems to fit the similar type of mold of scheme fit too and is just as versatile in coverage as Thomas.