The Los Angeles Rams have several new rookie faces in 2019 but only one can stand out above the rest as the best in 2019.
The Los Angeles Rams did a lot of trading and maneuvering in the 2019 NFL Draft and ended up with several new faces, all of which can have an impact. All in all, despite trading away its first-round pick in the draft, the Los Angeles Rams ended up with eight rookies from the draft.
Not all eight are going to have roles in their first season, especially the later rounds. However, the Rams did go a good job in the middle rounds in adding players where they needed them most. Because of that, the rookie group as a whole might have a bigger impact in year one than past rookie groups.
Only one can be the best of the bunch and it is pretty obvious before the season begins who that is going to be. Most fans probably say it will be third-round running back Darrell Henderson, who has the skill set and is an insurance option to Todd Gurley.
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It won’t be Henderson. In fact, out of all the team’s selections, Henderson was my personal least favorite as the team could have used that third-round selection for more pressing needs.
The Los Angeles Rams’ best rookie in 2019 is going to be the first rookie they selected, safety Taylor Rapp, who was selected with the 61st overall pick in the draft.
Not only is Rapp going to be the best rookie for the Rams in 2019 but he is going to be one of the best defensive rookies in the league. By the time January rolls around, we are all going to be asking ourselves how Rapp fell so far in the draft.
Despite his size, Rapp is someone that plays physical and can be a big-hitter in the open field, although he might have to tone it down for the sake of his health. He also had some of the best defensive IQ in the draft and that defensive IQ will show in his rookie season.
His man-to-man coverage will end up being average in his rookie year but his ability to read the offense and play in the open field is going to make him more of an impact off-ball. Most importantly, he has dynamic flexibility in the way he plays where he can line up deep in coverage or closer to the line as tight end coverage or run support.
While he still has a long way to go before being this good, Rapp has similar flexibility and football IQ as Derwin James projected to have entering the league last year. James has more physical tools than Rapp and was more of a polished product, but Rapp is going to have the benefit of playing alongside a veteran in Eric Weddle.
Rapp has the thing that you cannot teach a football player. Now, all the Los Angeles Rams have to do is put him in a position to succeed and he undoubtedly will.