*Walt taking 2014 and 2018
Charlie Campbell, Senior Draft Analyst
Taylor Rapp Could Go Late FirstUpdated March 3, 2019
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
Washington safety Taylor Rapp had gone under the radar for the most part leading up to the combine. The media attention has been more focused on the likes of Mississippi State Johnathan Abram, Delaware’s Nasir Adderley and Alabama’s Deionte Thompson. While Thompson and Adderley have drawn more acclaim, team sources told me that it sounds like Rapp has a good shot to be the second safety drafted after Abram. In fact, sources said that Rapp has a chance to be chosen late in the first round.
In speaking to sources at five teams, they thought that Rapp would, at worst, be a second-round pick. A couple of teams had him graded as a late first-round, early second-round pick. Rapp has impressed evaluators with his play but also his make-up.
“I think he’ll go higher second, and possibly late one because he is so clean and a top character guy,” said one NFC general manager. “He is one of the hardest-working and smart players in the draft. Yes, he has some limited tools, but some team teams prefer safe picks in that range.”
Another attribute that teams like about Rapp is the development he received under former NFL defensive backs coach and current Washington defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake. Evaluators like how Rapp was prepared by Lake and can do a variety of things on the field. One college director said going back to older tape before his junior year, Rapp did more free safety work, and they like his ability to be interchangeable.
As coaches get more involved in the draft process, Rapp’s intelligence and work ethic could cause him to continue to rise on draft boards. With a positive buzz building in the draft community, Rapp looks like a second-round pick at worst with a shot at sneaking into the first round.