Patriots Reportedly Host Intriguing Safety For Free Agent Visit

A potential Devin McCourty replacement?


March 16

A week after losing Devin McCourty to retirement, the Patriots are scoping out a potential replacement.

New England planned to host safety Taylor Rapp for a free agent visit Thursday, according to reports from ESPN’s Field Yates and NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.

Rapp spent his first four NFL seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, who drafted him in the second round in 2019. More of a box safety early in his career, the 25-year-old has logged more than 500 snaps at free safety in each of the last two seasons, per Pro Football Focus.

Rapp topped 90 tackles in three of his four seasons, only failing to reach that mark when he missed six games due to injury in 2020. He has nine career interceptions and 23 passes defended, notching two and six this season, respectively.

PFF graded Rapp as the league’s 13th-best safety in 2022, slotting in two slots below New England’s Kyle Dugger. Rapp also earned the eighth-highest run defense grade for his position and is considered a sound tackler.

A former teammate of Patriots cornerback Myles Bryant at Washington, Rapp tested poorly in the 40-yard dash and broad jump during his pre-draft process but showed excellent quickness, ranking in the 79th percentile in the three-cone drill and the 93rd percentile in the short shuttle.

The Patriots lost their longtime free safety when McCourty announced his retirement last Friday. Their secondary is flush with versatile defensive backs with varying levels of free safety experience, but they do not have an obvious McCourty successor on their roster.

Rapp, if signed, could fill that hole, giving New England a back-end field general to pair with veteran safeties Dugger, Adrian Phillips and Jabrill Peppers.

The Patriots also reportedly hosted free agent linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel for a visit Thursday.

Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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