In this series we take a look at 14 players for the Los Angles Rams 25 years old or younger and considered foundational or impact players.
Player: S Taylor Rapp
The skinny: A second-round selection (61st overall) in the 2019 draft, the University of Washington product finished with 43 combined tackles, three pass breakups and an interception in nine games played, including five starts last year. Rapp finished the 2020 season on the injured reserve with a knee sprain suffered in a Week 10 contest against the Seattle Seahawks. As a rookie, Rapp played in 15 games, including 10 starts, totaling 100 combined tackles, eight pass breakups and two interceptions, including one returned for a score.
Reason for optimism: At 6-0 and 210 pounds, Rapp offers versatility, with an ability to play close the line of scrimmage or deep as a safety. According to Pro Football Focus, Rapp played 98 defensive snaps in the box, 75 as a slot cornerback and 188 as a free safety last season. Pro Football Focus ranked Rapp 34st out of 94 safeties in the NFL last season in their player evaluation. With John Johnson III a pending unrestricted free agent, Rapp could be in line for more playing time if the Rams cannot bring their defensive play caller back. Rapp has two years left on his rookie deal and is scheduled to make a little over $900,000 in 2021.
Reason for concern: The playmaking safety can be a productive contributor for the Rams, but Rapp has to figure out a way to stay on the field. Rapp did not participate in most of training camp due to a balky knee. He was replaced in the starting lineup by rookie Jordan Fuller, but made his way back onto the field in spot starts when the Ohio State product missed time due to a shoulder injury. Rapp’s a heady, instinctual player who finds the football, but his overall health is a primary concern heading into the 2021 season.