The Lions are a third of the way through their 30 prospect visits and have used at least two of them on prospects from the University of Washington. Prior to news of the team scheduling a meeting with Drew Sample on Tuesday, reports came in that the team had scheduled a visit with safety Taylor Rapp. The tangy safety turned heads at the NF L Combine for his incredible agility, but his pro day wasn't as successful. So what would interest the Detroit Lions, here?
Taylor Rapp, SS, Washington
In his 39 games for the Huskies, Rapp recorded over 100 solo tackles, 6.0 sacks, and seven interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. He also forced two fumbles and recovered three more. His reputation for closing speed was an early draw during the draft period, and it's fairly obvious how he would be utilized in the NFL. The term "box safety" is sometimes viewed as a bad word, but with Rapp the box is large enough that it's not particularly fitting. He can cover ground after identifying where the football is going quite quickly despite his poor timed speed at his pro day.
As mentioned, Rapp received some buzz after posting a sub 4.00 shuttle and a very good cone time. After the Teez Tabor experiment, fans would probably be wary of a defensive back who ran in the 4.7 range, but this is an instance where there shouldn't be any worry. Rapp flies all over the field and his best-of-the-Combine agility drills are far more indicative of who he is as an athlete than straight line drills.
What He'd Bring
Drafting Rapp early would mean the Lions are dedicated to Tracy Walker at free safety and are bringing in a running mate. It would signal a move back to the slot for Quandre Diggs, if not immediately than in the near future. Rapp isn't a traditional box safety, due to his range he's able to close a great deal of space quickly, but that conceptual role would be his in this defense.
Rapp started the draft season as a projected first-round pick, but his final season at Washington wasn't very flashy so he fell soundly in that Day 2 talk. As mentioned previously, his slow 40-yard dash shouldn't turn off fans of his tape, but it's bound to keep some at bay. His most likely landing spot is early-to-mid Day 2, so the Lions would likely be grabbing him with their second-round pick with a trade down in the round, or with a trade up from their third pick.