Taylor Rapp the Safety You Need to Know

Over the last few years we’ve seen that versatile safeties who can play all over the field have garnered a lot of attention and value from NFL teams. Being able to play a traditional safety and a pseudo cornerback allows defensive coordinators to mix up and/or hide their coverages the best.  Washington’s Taylor Rapp has a lot of buzz and we take a look at whether Taylor Rapp is the next safety prospect that fits this role while looking at his traits.

Get to Know Taylor Rapp

At 6’0 207lbs Taylor Rapp may be on the shorter side for safeties but he does have enough size for the position. For Washington Rapp is utilized all over the field lining up as a single high, two deep, in the box, over the slot and even off the edge. His explosive acceleration and tenacity gives him the perfect mindset to play safety in the NFL.

 

Taylor Rapp as a Run Defender

A lot of the times when you have a safety who is good in coverage, they are not always willing to come up and be a player in the run game. That is not the case with Rapp who can fly up from the deep safety to lay some big hits on the ball carrier. Rapp also doesn’t just throw his body at the ball carrier trying to knock them down, instead driving his body through the defender and wrapping up in the process. At times he can be overwhelmed at the point of attack, but does show the ability to read and make good open field tackles.

 

Taylor Rapp in Coverage

Because of his versatility Rapp is used all over the field in coverage. Rapp has the quickness and enough speed that he is used to match up against slot receivers in man to man coverage. He has the range in zone coverage to play both single high safety and half field coverage in Cover 2 looks. Even as an underneath zone defender he’s shown the ability to read and react to cover up receivers who come into his zone. The one big question will be whether he can cover the big tight ends that we see in the NFL.

 

Projection

Because of his all around skill set combined with his athletic traits whenever Taylor Rapp enters the NFL Draft he should go within the early rounds. He’s compared a lot to Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith and it’s not hard to see the fit. Both players are good in the back end in coverage and good at coming up to stop the run. While Rapp does show the ability to play man coverage out of the slot and play closer to the line of scrimmage, his success in the NFL could be as more of a traditional safety position.

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