The Los Angeles Rams will now be without their leading tacklers from the safety room for 2023.
After Nick Scott signed with the Cincinnati Bengals during the first week of NFL free agency, the Rams learned the fate of Taylor Rapp on Monday, March 27: He’s signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills, per ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter.
Schefter included how Rapp was visiting the New England Patriots and was originally thought of as a potential signing for head coach Bill Belichick. But now, the 48-game defensive starter Rapp will head to the AFC East champions and rejoin fellow 2022 Super Bowl winner Von Miller on defense.
Taylor Rapp Praised for ‘Tenacity’ Before Rams Drafted Him
Back in 2019, Rapp was considered a west regional find for the Rams’ scouting department — as a standout from the University of Washington.
The 6-foot, 208-pounder was praised more for his ability to step up and become a tenacious tackler for the Huskies in his draft evaluation by nfl.com draft expert Lance Zierlein.
“Versatile three-year starter who combines tenacity with football intelligence to play at a consistently high level. Rapp isn’t big, but he’s well-built and durability hasn’t been a concern despite his physical nature as a striker,” Zierlein wrote in his evaluation. Rapp was also described as a “Mr. Fix It” type who was used everywhere in the UW defense. Lastly, Rapp was lauded for his football intelligence — all parlaying into him becoming the Rams’ first draft selection of the 2019 NFL Draft as a second-rounder.
Rapp from there became a consistent starting presence for the Rams defense. He went from starting a combined 15 games his first two seasons of the league (2020 was cut short due to a knee injury) to starting in all 17 games in the Super Bowl-winning season of 2021. He played and started in 16 games last season.
Rapp brought his steady tackling to the Rams as a box safety. He ended his Rams tenure with back-to-back 90-tackle seasons including 92 in his last season in L.A. As a ball-hawk, Rapp snatched nine career interceptions — which includes the career-high four he collected in the Super Bowl 56 season.
Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports is one analyst who praises the signing of Rapp to Buffalo.
“Taylor Rapp’s a good, young safety. Jack of all trades. Doesn’t turn 26 until December. Didn’t see this move coming for Buffalo,” Trapasso posted. “Feels like a one-year player who Bills will want to re-sign to a multi-year deal after the season as long-term solution at one of the safety spots.”
Current State of Rams Safety Room
Now, the attention turns to the current state of the Rams’ safety room.
Fortunately for the Rams, they’ll get 2021 captain Jordan Fuller healthy again after being limited to just three games with one start with a hamstring injury.
Outside of Fuller, 2022 rookies Russ Yeast and Quentin Lake got early action especially as the injuries piled up for the Rams. The former ended up with 20 tackles in 15 games of action while the latter delivered 10 while playing in nine games.
Draft expert Chad Reuter of nfl.com mocked Sydney Brown of Illinois as one potential option for the Rams at No. 77 on Friday, March 24 — before the official news on Rapp.