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NFL Draft 2019 scouting report: Taylor Rapp is a blend of physicality and intelligence

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Analyzing how Taylor Rapp could fill a hole at safety for the Raiders

NCAA Football: Oregon at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Taylor Rapp, S, Washington

Measurables

6’0”, 208 lbs

40-yard dash: 4.74 (Pro Day)

Bench Press: 17 reps

Vertical Jump: 35.0 inches

Broad Jump: 115.0 inches

Stats

2016: 51 tackles, 4 interceptions, 2 passes defended

2017: 59 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 interception

2018: 58 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 interceptions, 4 passes defended

Awards

2016: Freshman All-America First Team

2016: Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year

2017: All Pac-12 First Team

2017: Academic All-Pac-12 First Team

2018: Academic All-Pac-12 First Team

2018: All-Pac-12 First Team

2018: First-Team All-America

Strengths

Rapp is incredibly versatile and has a good feel for the game, filled in multiple roles for Washington’s defense as a three-year starter. Extremely high football IQ, plays smart and fast. Excels in run support, not afraid to lay the wood and hit with authority. Adept at covering tight ends, but lacks the range to be a ‘center fielder.’ Much more likely to succeed in the box or as an enforcer in two high sets. Could become a solid blitz option in the NFL.

Weaknesses

As mentioned, lacks top tier range for the position, not going to excel if put in one high safety looks. Relies on his intelligence to make up for some gaps in his athleticism and speed. Leaves a bit to be desired in terms of ball skills, as shown by his lack of interceptions.

Verdict

Rapp is not going to be a ball-hawk that ranges sideline to sideline to break up passes, but he will be great in run support and as an enforcer on the second level. His intelligence and understanding of the game allow him to make plays that others can’t, and that will entice many teams. Will have a great chance at becoming a starter in the NFL. Good character and clean injury history to boot, Rapp is an intriguing prospect for teams needing a strong safety.

Pro Comparison

Tony Jefferson

Fit with Raiders

Taylor Rapp could fit in nicely in the Oakland secondary, pairing with Karl Joseph (assuming he doesn’t get traded before the 2019 season). The Raiders need someone who can comfortably cover tight ends without getting dominated, and Rapp can do that. He may not lock anyone down, but he also won’t get beat repeatedly. Being able to play him in the box could also allow Joseph to play more of a center fielder role.

Rapp’s versatility and intelligence will make him very attractive for the Raiders brass, and Gruden will surely love his supposed positive attitude and work ethic. With pick 27 or 35 (knock on wood) Rapp will undoubtedly be considered heavily come draft day.