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How Would Drafting SS Taylor Rapp in Round 2 Make the Browns Better?

ROUND TWO potential draftee is a hard-hitter and dominates the deep zone

NCAA Football: Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl-Alabama vs Washington
Taylor Rapp #21
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Browns will likely make the defense the focus of their draft. Cornerback and safety are on their list of position players in an attempt to upgrade and gain much-needed depth.

SS Taylor Rapp is a monster tackler and the fourth-highest rated safety this year. In fact, tackling is his strongest attribute. He is excellent in short area bursts with straight line speed and also a player with a great motor.

Cleveland was blessed with drafting Jabrill Peppers in the first-round of the 2017 draft. Last season, they traded with the Packers for CB Damarious Randall, then converted him to safety and proceeded to net four INTs. If the Browns draft a true safety and pair him with Peppers, this would allow Randall to go back to CB and perhaps the franchise won’t need to draft a cornerback this year.


College: Washington
Height: 6’-0”
Weight: 200 pounds
40-time: 4.6
Career Tackles: 168
Career Interceptions: 7
Career Sacks: 6
Career Fumble Recoveries: 3
Career Tackles for Loss: 8.5
Career Touchdowns: 1


  • Hard, violent hitter and physical
  • Center field commander
  • Contact balance is excellent
  • Will challenge bigger TEs
  • Best defending short zones
  • Part of nation’s fifth best defensive unit
  • Two-time First Team All-Pac 12


  • Can be late finding football
  • Modest range
  • Speed a concern
  • Lateral mobility below average
  • Tightness in lower half when transitioning

Expert Draft Site Analysis

Rapp’s size, physicality and ability to tackle make him an ideal candidate to function as a strong safety in a role that brings him into the box with regularity. He is most effective playing through contact and attacking downhill while his ability to work in deeper zones, range and ball skills are modest. His upside on passing downs comes from him ability to function in man coverage against tight ends, blitzing and split zones. Rapp has starting upside but there are limitations that come with that to be mindful of.

Does Taylor Rapp appear to be a player the Browns could use or should they stick with Peppers/Randall?