What’s up to all my non-skimmers out there that are reading up on IDP defensive lineman in July!! I COMMEND YOU!! (Oh, “Skimmers” by the way, are those owners out there who only read what the major sports media outlets produce and they never dig any deeper and go “All The Way” like you are right now!) I respect all of you that are studying up and caring about your team, league and up-coming drafts. Now let’s sink our teeth into a defensive lineman who was the 13th DE to be drafted this past April.
From Charm City to Dallas
Mr. Tapper didn’t play football until his junior year at Baltimore City High School. He was more interested in basketball, but with his frame growing to 6’3” and 281lbs. he then decided to try out football. Ultimately, Tapper got a four-star recruit rating by one service and a three-star recruit rating by others. In his final season, he recorded 100 tackles and 5 sacks his senior year.
Showing his versatile athletic ability in high school by playing basketball and even catching some passes as a tight end, Tapper received a football scholarship from Oklahoma. What I noticed first about big Chuck is actually a negative trait for a defensive lineman – pad level. He relied on his upper body to bull rush a hell of a lot early on in his collegiate career. However, that’s the only glaring negative I saw on Tapper in his four years at Oklahoma.
The game that stands out in my mind is the 2013 Sugar Bowl against the big bad Crimson Tide of Alabama. Tapper only recorded two tackles, but one was a beauty in my humble eyes. On a screen play to Amari Cooper, who did break out down the field, Big Chuck, (who was rushing the QB) got on his horse and caught up to Cooper at the Sooner 13-yard line. (As seen at 0:10 seconds into this video https://youtu.be/Uj4fuTZdyRk
) video via DraftBreakdown
This shows perseverance and determination, the former being one of my all-time favorite words. Not GIVING UP OR QUITTING, no matter the odds presented in front of you. This is a common theme in my articles, showing that this game is not defined by numbers, stats or ADP. Game speed, determination and 2nd and 3rd efforts are the first things I look for in a fantasy asset. In the end, Tapper gained All-Big 12 First Team honors by coaches in 2013 and 2015 respectively, along with an honorable mention nod in 2014.
Welcome to Jerry’s World…
The Dallas Cowboys drafted Mr. Tapper in the 4th round with the 101st overall selection of the 2016 NFL draft. Once again, he was the 13th defensive end chosen over other lesser talent.
Showing tremendous organic power at the point of attack, he has the body type and versatility to play a 3-4 defensive end or a 43 base end. Big Chuck possesses the straight line speed to run down QB’s and is a major thumper when it comes to tackling. Most of all, Tapper is raw with vast room to grow his game and frame. From what I’ve seen, Chuck gets better as the season progresses, which is perfect when the fantasy playoffs roll around!
Pad level, pad level, pad level…which leads him to be too upright while rushing. Plus, I would like to see some rush moves linked together instead of using just his bull rush. The hand violence he uses to disengage blocks and to own the gap needs to be coached up as well. If Big Chuck can learn from the pro coaches and improve on his overall reaction time, he will be an early rotational DE in Dallas for a long time.
Note: Combine results: 4.59 – 40-yard dash/ 23 reps at 225lbs. /34-inch vertical jump/ 119.0-inch broad jump.
Only a couple knuckleheads are currently in front of him on the Cowboy roster. Simply put, the Cowboys defensive end position is a joke so, expect Tapper to be thrown into the fire early and often. As such, the defense end should have a solid chance of racking up some fantasy points in his rookie year. In fact, I think he could lock down a permanent starting end spot as soon as the 2017 season. Check back in with me at the end of the 2016 season and I will update this article with his forecasted 2017 stats!
Thank you for reading! If you have any Dynasty/Fantasy Football or especially IDP questions, follow me on Twitter @FatAdamSchefter