Bills grab their third Rams FA, Rapp shuffles off to Buffalo

Gabe Davis, Taylor Rapp
Gabe Davis, Taylor Rapp / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

In 2021, LA Rams free agent outside linebacker, Von Miller opted to sign with the Buffalo Bills, leaving the Rams jilted and reeling, pretty much setting up the team for disappointment throughout the 2022 NFL season.

This year, the Buffalo Bills are back. Not only has the team signed up former LA Rams interior offensive lineman David Edwards to a one-year deal, but they are shopping again. For the 2023 season, the Bills have added Rams free agent safety Taylor Rapp to their roster on a one-year prove-it deal:

It was clear that the LA Rams would not be bringing Taylor Rapp back when the team offered so few Qualifying Tender offers to their inexpensive free agents. Rapp played safety for the Rams for four seasons, and the Rams have yet to extend a safety beyond their original four-year rookie contract under Rams head coach Sean McVay. Former Rams safety, John Johnson III, was ideally suited for the Rams defense, but he eventually signed with the Cleveland Browns.

The LA Rams did hire his former Washington Huskies DB coach Jimmy Lake, but the hire is likely more tied to developing the rookie class of 2023, rather than trying to coach up veteran Taylor Rapp.

A solid DB who could flourish in the Bills secondary

Taylor Rapp is a solid defensive back who is most at home in the box where he can provide both run support and pass defense for those short crossing routes. While I personally do not consider him one of the better NFL safeties in terms of pure pass defense, he is good enough to read a quarterback's eyes, jump the route, and pick off the occasional pass for an interception. But it's feast or famine with Rapp, as those same jumping routes can get him to bite on double moves, and he can be beaten deep as a result no matter how far back you play him.

Rapp has not been a fan favorite, most likely because he was the successor to John Johnson III's spot in the lineup. Johnson set a very high bar, excelling in both run and pass defense. As a result, he was simply too tough of an act to follow.

Rapp has been a clear two-year starter with the Rams in the secondary, and he had starting experience in his rookie season due to injury. He can make the tackles, and he will get some interceptions. But he can be beaten, allowing four touchdowns in each of the past two seasons.

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The LA Rams are re-making the defense this offseason. That's a bold move, particularly in the choice to go from three All-Pro defensive leaders down to one. But the team believes that the 2023 NFL Draft hold excellent talent, particularly among defensive back prospects. Now, it's up to the team to find and select them.