LA Rams: 3 reasons why DB Taylor Rapp earns starting role in 2021
The LA Rams find themselves in a good situation as the team tries to solve one of several problems with the roster for the 2021 NFL season. For a quick recap, the Rams secondary lost both a very good safety and team leader when John Johnson III was scooped up out of the NFL Free Agency market by the Cleveland Browns. The Rams had limited funds and elected to reinvest in other positions. Johnson deserved to be paid and was.
Now the LA Rams must replicate, or at least partially backfill, the vacancy of their starting safety and signal-caller. While that’s easier said than done, it’s not exactly easy to do. After all, Johnson was the lynchpin for the secondary, the veteran who was so incredibly insightful that new defensive coordinator Brandon Staley hand-picked him out of the entire roster to call defensive coverages. That all turned out pretty well.
What didn’t turn out as well was second-year safety Taylor Rapp in his 2020 season. Originally projected to follow up his 2019 rookie season as the starter for 2020, his injury-plagued season coupled with the surprising display from rookie safety Jordan Fuller as the ideal cog in Staley’s masked defensive scheme put Rapp on the bench for much of the season. In fact, Rapp played in just nine of 16 games in 2020 and started just five of those nine on occasions where Fuller was unable to suit up.
Now Rapp has another opportunity to step up and become that starter. But why would anyone expect 2021 to be any different? Well, that’s a very good question. For starters, NFL players return from injury all the time and often have far different seasons the following year. After an ACL injury in 2018, Rams WR Cooper Kupp had an outstanding 2019 season. So there is no need to presume that Rapp cannot start in 2020. But you need more, right? Well, here are three reasons why he will earn the right to start in 2021: