#27 Taylor Rapp, Safety, Washington
One of the most versatile players in this draft class is former Huskies safety Taylor Rapp. While his natural position is safety, Rapp played a significant amount of snaps at all three levels on defense. His versatility and excellent instincts make him a defensive coordinator’s dream and even though the former All-American might not be the biggest name on the board, he could end up making any team drafting in the late 20’s very happy.
As mentioned above, Rapp is extremely versatile and can play just about anywhere on the field. This will help his draft stock because he isn’t dependent upon scheme and can play multiple positions. His instincts are top notch as he is able to read the quarterback’s eyes and anticipate throws. He also possesses the unique ability to look at the quarterback and feel where the receiver is, which allows him to maintain tight coverage on receivers. Rapp is a sure tackler and is a great fit for “bend but don’t break” defenses because this limits the amount of yards after the catch. On the other hand, he needs to improve his hand coordination so that he can increase his interceptions as he only accounted for three picks in the last two seasons. Speed might be the biggest concern in Rapp’s game, he didn’t run the 40-yard dash at the combine and reportedly ran a 4.77 at his pro day. A time that slow might scare teams away, but his instincts should help him overcome this.
Fit for the Raiders
After signing Lamarcus Joyner and re-signing Erik Harris, safety is lower on the Raiders list of needs and may even be a luxury at this point. Rapp’s playing style is also very similar to Karl Joseph’s. Thus, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to draft a player in the first round who is similar to someone currently on the roster. That being said, there were trade rumors surrounding Joseph last season and if Oakland does end up drafting Rapp, those rumors are sure to resurface. Ultimately, the Raiders have too many other needs to justify spending a first round pick on him.
The Chiefs let former All-Pro safety Eric Berry go in the offseason. Rapp wouldn’t immediately fill the hole Berry leaves, but he would be a solid addition to a secondary that struggled last season. Pairing Tyrann Mathieu and Rapp could be the combination that new Kansas City defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is pounding the table for. Similar to pairing Mathieu and Rapp, the idea of having Adrian Amos and Rapp playing for the Packers is exciting. If Green Bay gets an offensive weapon with the 12th pick, Rapp should definitely be on their radar with pick 30. The Eagles are another landing spot for Rapp because safety Malcolm Jenkins is 31-years old and likely nearing the end of his career.