With the 2019 NFL Draft coming to an end, I’ve decided to take a look at every draft selection by the Los Angeles Rams in detail, and to share my thoughts with you guys on what they did well and what they bring to the Rams moving forward.
Starting right at the top is Washington Huskies SS Taylor Rapp, who the Rams selected at the end of round two at pick #61 after multiple trades down. Rapp was a three-year starter at Washington playing 13 games every season. He had a combined 168 tackles, 8.5 tackles-for-loss, six sacks, seven interceptions, six pass deflections, and three forced fumbles.
Let’s take a look at the write-up:
Rapp is an absolutely vicious hitter who plays every snap like it’s his last. Very physical. Capable blitzer who was often used to bring pressure. He’s not dynamic in coverage and is a limited athlete when running in a straight line (forty-yard dash). So good in run and chase situations because of his lateral agility. Can play in coverage in split-coverage duties like a cover-2 assignment, though he isn’t a single-high type of safety as his lack of speed/range doesn’t allow him to cover the whole backend on his own. He was used in the nickel spot in Washington’s defense and held his own. Can man cover tight ends at the next level, though not ideal to leave him covering slot receivers. Would make a great sub-package LB or inside-the-box safety. Absolutely sure tackler. Takes fantastic angles when attacking ball carriers. Great click and close ability, breaks on receivers quickly. Ideal spot is near the line of scrimmage, playing underneath zones/rat, and in-the-box on run situations.
Here’s Rapp on a blitz. Ironically, the Rams also drafted the NT Greg Gaines who is helping eat the double team and free up a gap for Rapp to blitz in:
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I believe Rapp will bring a unique talent with physical ability and nastiness to the Rams’ defense. Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips used S John Johnson III in spurts in this role last season, and it clearly elevated his game to another level. Phillips knows exactly how to place a guy in a spot in which he can succeed, and I believe he’ll recreate those situations and successes for Rapp. Also, if you’re worried about Rapp rotting away on the bench, don’t be. Last year SS Marqui Christian (who often subbed in on third downs replacing ILB Mark Barron) and FS Blake Countess played a combined 408 snaps, meaning Rapp will have plenty of chances to replace those snaps and make plays on the field.
Next up on the docket is Memphis Tigers RB Darrell Henderson.