Defensive end Darryl Tapp is the newest Philadelphia Eagle. He has been acquired by trade from the Seattle Seahawks amidst the first flurry of external offseason activity by the Eagles' front office.
Tapp was a standout collegiate player at Virginia Tech and could blossom for the Eagles at the defensive end position or falter into a rotational conundrum as did his trade-mate, Chris Clemons.
The loss of Clemons is less significant than the additional fourth-round pick that the Eagles bundled into the deal, but the Eagles must have seen something that they liked in Tapp.
If nothing else, he's an additional veteran presence with upside potential and heading into his prime.
"Darryl is an up-and-coming player in this league, in my opinion," Roseman said. "He's a good player and a good person...We believe he'll be a good addition to our defensive line."
Apparently the Eagles were interested in drafting Tapp in the 2006 draft. This deal is somewhat reminiscent of Andy Reid's draft interest in Lorenzo Booker who he ultimately acquired by trade.
"Darryl is a very intense football player and we're happy to acquire him," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "He plays very hard every snap. He's smart, he's a good person and he'll fit very well into our defensive scheme."
He has definitely had his moments, recording a four-sack game and seven-sack season in 2007. A second round draft pick in 2006, Tapp has made plays and gained starting experience in his four NFL seasons.
Tapp is clearly more valuable than Chris Clemons. He's younger and he's cheaper, but he comes under similar auspices as a challenger and potential starter at the left defensive end position.
At 6'1", 270 pounds, Tapp is a more prototypical end than the 6'3", 240-pound Clemons and every other Eagles rotational defensive end with the exception of the oft-injured Victor Abiamiri.
He has the build and potential to be a true three-down defensive end.
One thing that this tells fans is that the Eagles are talking around the league, looking for young prospective talent and clearing up cap space for future signings and acquisitions.
What kind of impact can Tapp make?
We'll have to give this trade a chance to prove its worth before passing judgement either way, but I don't think that Tapp has any higher ceiling than Abiamiri, although he has unquestionably been healthier.
He's going to have a tough time taking the job from Juqua Parker as well. Parker has been solid even if fans want more play-making from the position.
I don't think this really changes the Eagles' draft strategy, but simply enhances their ability to select the best player available, particularly in the first round.
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