When the Eagles traded for Darryl Tapp, I thought they overpaid big time. A fourth-round pick would have been bad enough, but including Chris Clemons in the deal sent it over the top.
Heading into Week 12, it's looking like my first reaction was right. As it stands, Tapp has two sacks, 15 tackles, and has only played in eight games, starting none of them. Clemons, on the other hand, has 7.5 sacks to go along with 34 tackles and 10 starts.
Tapp has been nearly invisible all year long with his most notable play coming against the New York Giants last week when he recovered Eli Manning's fumble to seal the win. Outside of that, the deal is looking like a total misfire.
But now, with Juqua Parker likely to miss the Bears game and the team clearly having no faith in third-round pick Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, Tapp must step up and give the team—and the fans—a reason to believe he was worth the hefty price the team paid.
Parker on the bench means the team will likely have four defensive ends active: Trent Cole and Brandon Graham will be the starters, Tapp will be the primary backup on both sides, and Te'o-Nesheim will likely see time on third down as an inside pass-rusher.
Tapp is going to be counted on to create a pass-rush against a weak Chicago offensive line. Cole usually plays over 90 percent of the snaps (on a bad day), but Graham is still in the learning phase and could split time with Tapp almost 50-50.
Overall, that's not an exciting prospect.
Tapp reminds me a lot of Jevon Kearse in that he's a one-trick pony. His move is usually a bull-rush, and if that doesn't work he's basically out of the play. He doesn't seem to have an overly active motor or any real ability to disengage a blocker.
Even in the "Joker" position where he stands up and is essentially an inside linebacker, he seems to get tied up very easily if there's too much movement ahead of him. He seems flustered and is usually watching guys run right past him while in coverage.
Blitzing isn't much better as he usually gets stood up by the center or guard and stopped dead in his tracks more often than not.
Hopefully his poor performances thus far mean he's due for a big game.
He could get the chance to see a substantial amount of snaps and turn his season around, but to date he's shown nothing to give anyone the slightest inclination that he'll do anything but disappoint.