2019 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Taylor Rapp
School: The University of Washington
Weight: 205 pounds
Draft Round Projection: 1-2
With above average explosion, Rapp explodes on breaks. In addition, he can stay with many receivers on posts or deep outs without any loss in acceleration. As a safety, Rapp possesses the deep speed to stay over the top and give support to a beaten corner. Moreover, Rapp can serve as an effective blitzer off the edge.
During his stay in Seattle, the Huskies deployed Rapp in a myriad of ways. First, he can roam the deep middle as a centerfielder. Rapp’s range and instincts give him a feel for covering large areas. Next, he lined up over the slot receiver. Unlike many safeties, Rapp does not appear out of place when dealing with the underneath, quicker wideouts that camp out in zones. Lastly, Rapp will shadow an outside receiver downfield, depending on opponent.
From the snap, if looked on the slot, notice Rapp’s backpedal. Never too soon, his turn and run appears smoother than most college safeties. Next, when attacking short routes, Rapp will plant and drive , in order to break on routes, in particular the slant.
Despite only six interceptions, Rapp approaches the ball smartly. For example, on deep, in routes, he will use his body, head looking at the ball, with a late deflection. That is to say, Rapp should not incur too many pass interference flags. Although Rapp initiates hip contact, his head and arms are solely trained on the ball.
For a safety, hovering around 200 pounds, Rapp brings a fearless approach to hitting. As a result, you can observe him surfing through trash on screens or flying to the line to make plays. If you don’t expect bone-jarring hits from Rapp, you will not be disappointed. Classic wrap- and drive tackler.
In any defense, the need for quality safety help remains at a premium. Reggie Nelson, Karl Joseph, and Erik Harris are beyond limited. Each lack twitchy cover skills. Equally important, none offers the Raiders any versatility. Meanwhile, Rapp brings the ability to cover in a zone, but also handle man-to-man responsibilities. In a division with potent passing offenses, the Raiders cannot keep cobbling a secondary together and expect success. In reality, Rapp presents a late first round option for Oakland. Luckily, they are blessed with three picks in the first round of the draft. Consequently, a willing tackler with cover skills and ability like Rapp will fall into Oakland’s lap.