Scouting Report: Although Sapp played primarily a stand up defensive end position in college, his build is perfectly suited to play the rush OLB position in a 3-4 defense. If I were scouting his as a 4-3 DE, his scores would be slightly lower. He's undersized to play a full time end, but his height and wingspan pair up very well with the hybrid OLB in the 3-4 defense. He's got a super fast first step and does a nice job getting around or underneath tackles and just blows past them. He does a great job, even if he doesn't get the sack bringing great pressure on the quarterback and has a decent mix of strength to go with all that speed. In run support I like Sapp's motor and his willingness to give his body up so that others can make plays. His speed also helps him chase and he's a sound tackler. On the downside, Sapp doesn't have the power to disengage from linemen when he gets tangled up and teams at times will run at him, to account for him being too aggressive at times. What this means is, Sapp has to learn to play with more discipline and control and understand his role better.
Draft Status: Sapp is probably the 2nd best rush OLB prospect in this draft, after Jerry Hughes from TCU with Texas A&M's Von Miller and Sergio Kindle from Texas in the mix as well. What that means is, how he runs in shorts could mean the different between a late first and late 2nd/early 3rd round grade.
Final Analysis: I think Sapp has a ton of potential as a pass rush specialist. He's never going to be an every down run stuffing linebacker but I can see him approach double digit sacks and TFL's on a consistent basis. Him coming back so strong this year after tearing his ACL the year before speaks volumes about his strength, his conditioning and dispels some concerns that he is now injury prone. I wouldn't take Sapp ahead of Hughes, but I would absolutely take him ahead of Miller or Kindle. He's got to hit the weight room, and it's basically a total mystery just how good his agility and speed can translate to coverage, but you have to assume he can assimilate to the full time stand up position. His cluster of pass rush moves are good and he uses more than one on a regular basis which is a nice sign of his development as a player. Lots of guys have multiple moves, but only use 1. That secondary rush move is crucial, when your bread and butter gets stuffed what do you do? Sapp is good about switching it up, mid play.
Reminds me of: Kamerion Wimbley, LB Cleveland Browns-Similar builds and skill sets, and we are finally seeing some of his potential he flashed as a rookie. Sapp has a chance to develop beyond where Wimbley is now, and be a very good player. Just don't ever expect him to get up in the hole and stuff the run, or work a big offensive tackle and get the running back. That's not his game.
Scouting Report written by Curt Popejoy