Atlanta Falcons potential future draft profile: Charles Tapper


Will the Atlanta Falcons address their pass rush in the 2016 NFL Draft? Charles Tapper could be an option.

Not every player in the draft is going to be household name; it’s just not possible. Not everyone knows the Cole Toners, Miles Killebrew, or the Vernon Butlers of the world. That’s OK. Some players play on low-competition teams like Western Michigan and some are overshadowed by their counterparts but still possess NFL talent.

This past weekend there were many players who stepped up to the call, but none impressed me more than Oklahoma’s senior defensive end Charles Tapper.

If you look at Oklahoma’s defensive group you’ll be able to find a suitable player somewhere along the roster. Players like Zach Sanchez, Eric Striker, and Dominique Alexander may overshadow him to the media but don’t be mistaken, Tapper is a true NFL talent. According to the team’s website, he is 6’3 285 lbs but don’t be surprised if he is a little shorter at 6’2 and weighs in at 290 lbs.

His freshman year was more a failing but leaning process for Tapper at OU. He finished the year with five tackles, two of which were assisted, despite playing in only nine games. His sophomore season proved to be a turning point when he finished the season with 49 total tackles, nine for a loss, and 5.5 sacks.

During his 2014 season, he benefited from having massive nose tackle, Jordan Phillips, but only finished the year 37 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, and 3.0 sacks. So far this season, he is by far the Sooners’ best defensive lineman and is having a career year with 45 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and seven sacks. Tapper also has four forced fumbles on the year.

As a five-technique defensive end in Oklahoma’s front, it is easy to spot him on film because of his ability to play all along the line. His ability to extends his arms and push back offensive tackles at the snap of the ball is due to his long arms and his amazing upper body strength. One thing that does get caught on film a lot is his nonstop motor to get through linemen.

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Though he flashed valuable assets, he is just starting to understand to play the game of football. He only started playing during his junior year in high school (basketball background) and admitted that he is more of a molding clay model at this time.

Sometimes a player’s biggest flaw is due to the system he plays. In Tappers’ case, he is asked to play contain a lot when in the Sooners are in a four-man front. Many times his athleticism doesn’t get him very far when going against the better linemen in the Big-12. The Sooners’ defensive line coach, Diron Reynolds, does a great job at keeping his players playing low and fast but Tapper doesn’t possess elite closing burst.

If the Falcons do take a chance on Tapper during the draft, it’ll most likely coming during the fourth or maybe third round. He isn’t a plug in and play type of guy but it would be nice to see him rotate at the strong-side end with either Adrian Clayborn (if he is re-signed) and Kroy Biermann.

Tapper has the great size Quinn likes to rotate along the line, and he brings a great personality and attitude towards the team with being a team captain.

Pro Comparison: Adrian Clayborn