Taylor Rapp

S, Washington

  • Conf Pac-12
  • Jersey #21
  • Class Junior
  • HT 6'0''
  • DOB 12/22/1997
  • WT 212 lbs


    Range - Re-defines deeper than the deepest. As a single-high safety, consistently 25 yards from the nearest receiver. Won't let anything in over his head, but doesn't give himself a chance to make many plays on the ball with his spacing either. Does not project to much deep safety work at the next level, especially in a Cover 1 or Cover 3 scheme.

    Ball Skills - If you're drafting Rapp, do so with the expectation that ball production won't be a big part of his contribution. Doesn't play with the anticipation or instincts to jump routes or make a lot of plays on the ball in deep coverage. Not explosive closing down in zone coverage, will allow catches and make the sure tackle.

    Man Coverage - Wasn't asked to do much in man coverage, but seemed to anticipate routes better from off in his few man reps than he did in zone. That said, athletic limitations will be a concern against shiftier wideouts, as will press technique if he rolls up on tight ends. Matched up with Oregon's tight end a couple times with mixed results. Has some traits to be developmental in this area.

    Fluidity/Agility - Consistently balanced and playing on the balls of his feet, which allows him to shift directions swiftly and rarely get caught flat-footed as a tackler. Turns tight angles when coming off the edge, has ideal burst to close and finish, even when moving laterally.

    Tackling - One of the best tacklers in the draft, either in space or in congested areas. Comes to balance and goes outside his frame to bring runners down. Targets low with his eyes up, always looking to wrap up with great form. Hitting power isn't elite, but if he lines you up right he will lay the lumber. I watched seven games and I don't think he missed a single tackle.

    Run Defense - Can be a little slow to enter his run fills from deep and while sorting through trash to find the ball around the box, but when he sees it, zero hesitation to get in on the action. Sticks his nose in traffic to get in on tackles. Sound run fills and runs the alley looking for blood. Size and demeanor to play around the line of scrimmage.

    Route Recognition - Smart football player who attacks shorter route concepts with clean processing. In deep coverage is rarely caught out of position, but doesn't process and attack quick enough to be impactful at the catch point either. Assignment sound and risk averse.

    Versatility - Terrific around the box and coming from deep in run support, but won't offer much impact as a deep safety and is limited in man coverage. Wish he was a better blitzer in small sample size, would like to see more of him in that role in the NFL. Will thrive on special teams.

    Competitive Toughness - Physicality, toughness and effort will never be questioned. Terrific football character and work ethic, plays every snap hard and was a true leader in the Huskies locker room.

    Athleticism/Size - Terrific size and build for a safety prospect. Puts in his time in the weight room, frame is ready for the NFL. I think he'll be a better tester in agilities than he is given credit for, but certainly not an elite athlete.

    BEST TRAIT - Run Defense/Tackling

    WORST TRAIT - Range/Ball Skills

    RED FLAGS - None

    Taylor Rapp's tape is boring...in a good way...and a bad way. He's simply not instinctive or rangy enough to make many plays on the ball as a deep safety, and Washington often aligned him so deep that he could barely arrive in time to help in run support. That said, when Rapp did have the opportunity to get involved around the box or in space as a tackler, he almost always made it count, getting runners to the ground while closing with excellent burst and technique. Also, he basically never lets anyone behind him in coverage.

    The problem is that he just doesn't make impact plays in coverage, isn't ideally suited to be a deep safety and rarely matched up with opponents in man coverage, so his best fit at the next level is kind of an unknown. Rapp is a good enough athlete to be worth developing as a big nickel/tight end-slaying option, but I think his ceiling and role are decently limited, which should impact how highly he'll be valued in the draft.