NAME: Taylor Rapp
JERSEY: No. 21
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 212 lbs
PROS: Smart, aggressive player who fills multiple roles within the back seven. Recognizes running game flow and misdirection very quickly and regularly takes the correct angles to attack offensive concepts; does well to retain leverage when approaching tackles to defend the weakest area of the field/turn runners back into help. When taking on blocks, especially kick-out blocks as EMLOS defender, deconstructs and wins leverage with excellent physicality for a safety.
Is a sure space tackler and devastating close-quarters hitter alike. Breaks down with a wide base and low hips to tackle, regularly getting his head across his target’s waist and wrapping through the hips. Has impressive gear down ability when flying to the runner and excels at making difficult, flexible tackles on elusive runners. Tracks very well and will adjust angles effortlessly. Seeks out scrums and looks to punish, but protects his head on contact. Forced multiple fumbles with hustle plays to wrapped-up runners, getting his helmet into the football when other safeties wouldn’t have even gotten involved on the hit.
CONS: Not overly rangy. Despite strong linear burst, top speed does not impress. Some tightness in the hips limits ability to turn corners with explosion, which gives him issues when flipping his hips to carry deep routes from the slot. Will take drop step when exploding, which only adds to the delay. Physical limitations in a straight line could force him into exclusively short zone responsibilities in the NFL, which would cap his efficacy as an interchangeable defensive piece. Does not have playmaking instinct; prefers to hit and tackle rather than play over the top for PBUs and/or INTs.
– Benjamin Solak