Charles Tapper was among our top 5 pass rush prospects for the Cowboys entering the 2016 NFL draft. The only reason he didn’t top the list was his lack of experience at the position.
Big Harb and I started the “He Said-She Said” series last year with the intention of giving the readers two points of view. It has evolved in to a friendly competition to prove the other one wrong. This time, we find ourselves debating who will be the Cowboys’ best pass rusher that is not suspended. He said it will be Ryan Russell. She says it will be Charles Tapper.
Charles Tapper brings a rare combination of size, power, length and blazing speed. Unlike a lot of players, he isn’t just a great athlete. When you put the tape on, he jumps out at you. He looks like a football player.
Height|Weight: 6-3 271
Arms: 34 3/8″
40 time: 4.59 (Fastest among DE’s)
10 Yard Split: 1.59 (Fastest among DE’s)
Bench Reps: 23
Draft: 4th round
Big Harb has made a strong case for Ryan Russell. I can’t deny that, but even though he has an extra year of experience, I believe Charles Tapper is going to develop faster.
I have to give Tapper the edge because of his natural athletic ability and power at the point. Cowboys’ defensive guru Rod Marinelli has designed a defense that is predicated on SPEED Speed and more Speed. That in itself gives Charles Tapper an enormous advantage. 270 pound defensive linemen out-running running backs and wide receivers is the stuff myths are made of. When asked about Tapper, Marinelli said:
“He’s good he’s strong. Stronger than I thought he was gonna be. He’s powerful with his hands. Because he can run, he’s got hips and feet: so he’s just day by day learning at our pace and that’s the process we’re in. That’s what we’re trying to get done.”
My buddy Bryan Broaddus has had nothing but positive things to say about Charles Tapper’s performance in camp thus far. With Randy Gregory and Benson Mayowa being out of the mix, Tapper is getting some first team reps. Anytime a rookie can stand toe to toe with ALL-Pro left tackle, Tyron Smith, and knock him off balance or beat him to the edge, the Arrow points way up.
Charles Tapper has all of the traits we look for in an edge rusher. Because of his natural athletic ability, speed and power, all he really needs to focus on in camp is his technique and learning his assignments.
The fact that he will no longer be in a two gap system and can focus solely on rushing the passer, will dramatically increase his sack count. Knowing the quality of his work ethic, his approach to the game and football IQ, there isn’t a doubt in my mind that Charles Tapper will develop in to the best non suspended pass rusher in 2016.
I included our original scouting report on Tapper which was written by our lead analyst, Al Beam, prior to the draft.
- Charles Tapper has good size and length for the position… Natural power at the point and plays with good pop… Powerful bull rush… Fundamentally sound player… Knows his assignments, understands offenses and never out of position on a play… Able to contain and a good tackler… Can hold up at the point… Very long arms with (11 1/2″) clubs for hands… Plays with good arm extension, can stack and shed well… Excellent speed to close on the quarterback or chase down a play… Showed the ability to take on multiple blockers… Thick powerful legs that he keeps churning and runs right through blockers in one on one match-ups (Abused Cody Whitehair at the Senior Bowl). Versatile: played the the 4, the 5, base 4-3 defensive end and was moved inside… Nice spin move… Tenacious, non stop motor and always plays through the whistle… Gets his hands up to disrupt passing lanes… Excellent run defender… Moves well laterally along the line and can make plays all over the field… Good character, high football IQ, good work ethic… Prototypical strong side defensive end with the ability to play outside backer in a 3-4 and the potential to develop in to a top tier RDE…
- Charles Tapper appears stiff when trying to change direction in close quarters… Plays with power, but needs to get a better understanding of leverage… Plays too high… Raw prospect technique wise… Has the tools but needs to improve his hand technique… Poor snap anticipation at times… Got moved around too much at Oklahoma and never got a chance to fully develop at a set position… A tad undersized to play the 5 at the NFL level… Has the speed, but lacks the pass rush moves to play on the weak side… A bit of a tweener at the next level, but suited for a 4-3 defense that utilizes initial quickness and straight line speed…