Charles Tapper, DL
School: Oklahoma | Conference: Big 12
College Experience: Senior | Age: ?
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 276 lbs
Projected Draft Status: Third to Fifth Round
NFL Comparison: Stephen Bowen
An interesting prospect who could develop into a something of a utility infielder, Charles Tapper does not really fit any one role coming out of college. A bit of a tweener, his size is closer to that of an edge rusher but his skill set is closer to that of an interior lineman. He would probably be best off bulking up and committing to the inside, because he simply does not have the quickness or pass rush acumen to thrive on the outside. He's had periods of success but far greater, and longer, stretches of negligible football. In a dominant four-game stretch in 2015, he had 7.0 sacks, 8.0 tackles for a loss (includes the sacks), 20 total tackles, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one pass defended; the other nine games of the season, he had no sacks, 2.0 tackles for a loss, 30 total tackles, one forced fumble, no recoveries and two passes defended.
- He plays stronger and heavier than he is, and he has the ability to feast on smaller or weaker blockers, which bodes well for him if he continues to bulk up.
- Tapper's occasional outburst — four multi-sack games for his career — show some upside.
- His height and natural size give him the versatility to play a variety of positions, and he can be molded to play wherever a defensive coordinator or GM wants.
- The counter to the final strength: He has no natural position heading to the NFL, and he's likely going to be a project pick.
- His production is too clustered and often came against inferior opponents. He had five of his 13.5 collegiate sacks in two games against Kansas (in 2013 and 2015), which went a combined 3-21 those two seasons. The best game of his career (three sacks and two forced fumbles against Kansas in 2015) came against a true freshman left tackle.
- On a related note, his disappearance in 2014 is alarming. After 5.5 sacks, nine tackles for a loss and 48 total tackles in 2013, he managed just 1.0 sack, 5.0 tackles for a loss and 35 total tackles in 2014, despite playing the same number of games.
- Tapper doesn't appear to have very good instincts or reactions. He is often the last defensive lineman to get off the line of scrimmage, and he sometimes has trouble locating the ball.
If something is ever in your way, just call Eric Mac Lain...
He'll move it.#BeardStrength #ALLIN pic.twitter.com/j1jD7IZFGg
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) January 6, 2016
How He Would Fit on the Redskins
This is a tough one. If Tapper is indeed planning to play on the interior at the pro level, he would need to bulk up substantially to join a Scot McCloughan team. McCloughan loves big linemen, and Tapper would have no place on the Redskins' defensive line as he is currently built. With the exception of defensive end James Gayle (6-foot-4, 259 pounds), the Redskins don't have a single defensive lineman below 297 pounds, and Tapper currently measures closer to Ryan Kerrigan (6-foot-4, 260 pounds) than Ricky Jean-Francois (6-foot-3, 297 pounds).
Tapper is from Baltimore, so there is something of a local connection. Otherwise, the fit isn't very good. McCloughan has a history of taking players that sometimes don't make the most sense on paper and making them work, but that's less so the case when it comes to linemen, where he typically sticks to the big, mauling prototype. Keep an eye on Tapper's weight — if he clocks in above 285 at the combine, and he performs well there with the added girth, he could pique McCloughan's interest.
Charles Tapper, one of the happiest guys here, told me Tuesday his ideal spot is strong side 4-3 DE. Loves setting edge against the run.— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) January 29, 2016
Charles Tapper getting some 3 technique snaps in Senior Bowl practice— Chris Foshee (@CWFoshee) January 28, 2016