The Seahawks would ideally like a thumper at safety. They might find one if they take Taylor Rapp in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The secondary of the Seahawks isn’t as good as it was earlier this decade. Maybe it is because the talent isn’t as good without Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas. Or more likely, Seattle’s defensive backs are just not as feared as they used to be. Taylor Rapp might fix that.
Seattle needs some help at safety. They haven’t chosen a member of the secondary very high in some time – Shaquill Griffin in round three of 2017 was by far the highest secondary choice since 2010. But general manager John Schneider is also likely to pick the best player available with Seattle’s first pick. No one expected Rashaad Penny to go to the Seahawks last year but he did.
In 2019, Seattle needs to find the long-term answer to who will replace Earl Thomas. But they might also find that when it comes time to take their first player the best player available is safety Taylor Rapp from the University of Washington. This would be a win-win. And maybe possibly another win because it would keep a hometown player near home. Rapp is from Bellingham, Washington and was a Husky.
As I stated above, Rapp can hit. He is excellent against the run and fills holes quickly. Seattle loves defensive backs that can tackle. In fact, that is a necessity in Seattle’s scheme. Missed tackles can cost the team games, of course, and there have been far too many over the last two seasons. Rapp would fix this issue nearly immediately.
Rapp is also excellent on special teams and would contribute right away in the third phase of the game. And the safety is also very good at covering tight ends. Covering tight ends in Seattle’s system is usually left to a linebacker but since Rapp plays the run so well, he could actually be brought on as a defensive back to cover tight ends and help in the run game. This would give the defense more speed overall.
Rapp’s biggest weakness might be the reason Seattle doesn’t draft him. The safety does not have Thomas’s speed and may have issues getting to speedy receivers deep. This would never go well in Pete Carroll’s system. Carroll, though, is great with technique and might be able to get Rapp where he fixes any issues with over the top coverage.
If Seattle wants to draft a safety high who will tackle like Chancellor, Rapp is a good bet. If they want one with speed like Thomas to partner with Bradley McDougald, Seattle will not take Rapp. It will be interesting to see how Carroll and John Schneider see the future of the defense shaping up.