Charles Tapper is the 7th prospect in our 2016 “The Guys No One Is Talking About” series. He earned All-American honorable mention honors from Sports Illustrated, and was named to the All-Big 12 First Team by the league’s coaches, AP, ESPN.com and Phil Steele.
Charles Tapper started 38 games for the Sooners and amassed, 138 tackles, 26.5 TFL, 15 sacks, forced 5 fumbles (recovering 2 of them), and broke up 6 passes.
Cas started this series years ago while doing fan blogs at dallascowboys.com. Following a highly successful track record, it has become a cornerstone here at YDCFF and produced numerous NFL success stories. In this post I am profiling Charles Tapper.
Will all of the players we profile in this series become Pro Bowl players or even solid starters in the NFL? Absolutely not. Some may become solid special teams guys, backups, or not make final cuts in training camp. Others may have to begin their careers in another league such as the CFL. One of our previous candidates who has become a star in the NFL, Andrew Sendejo, started his career in the UFL.
We are firm believers in the Landry three year rule. Some of the players from “The Guys No One Is Talking About” series will need some time to develop, so please reserve any negative opinions on these guys until they have had a chance to do so. However, for those of you who are familiar with the series, you know many have gone on to have solid careers in the NFL. This series is about getting these guys some recognition.
Charles Tapper, DE
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
Tapper was named first-team All-Big 12 as a sophomore in 2013, but only managed honorable mention accolades in 2014 due to a drop in productivity (nine tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks in 2013; 7.5 and three in 2014.) He bounced back in his last tour of Norman, helping the Sooners compete for a national title with another first-team all-conference effort (50 tackles, 10 for loss, seven sacks). The Sports Illustrated honorable mention All-American has a strong all-around game that the NFL will appreciate. (NFL Combine Bio)
Charles Tapper had an outstanding showing at the combine. NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock offered some praise for Tapper as he went through some of the individual drills.
“I’m a lot higher on (Tapper) than a lot of people are,” Mayock remarked. “Oklahoma moved him around and I think he’s going to be a better player in the NFL than he was in college.”
He’s currently ranked by CBS Sports as the No. 12 defensive end prospect in the 2016 NFL Draft, but his showing at the NFL Combine is sure to help his stock. I agree with Mayock and combined with his good showing at the Senior Bowl, I believe he increased his stock a minimum of at least 1 full round. NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein has graded him as a potential late-round selection. I have him graded higher than Zierlein or CBS.
- 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 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…
Overall Charles Tapper has all of the physical and athletic traits I look for in a left defensive end. He is a good fit for the Tampa 2 defense and if Rod Marinelli could help him improve his get-off, pad level and hand technique, he could develop in to a Pro Bowl defensive end… The bottom line is: all the tools are there, he just needs to learn how to use them properly… I can’t imagine what he would be capable of with technique that matches his natural power and quickness… When you have a DE that ran faster than a lot of the WR’s at the combine (Von Miller type speed), you have an ideal candidate for a Marinelli system… NFL Comparison: Osi Umenyiora with more speed.