In our continuing pursuit of viewing tape on The Cowboys draft picks, now we’ll look at their first round selection, Taco Charlton out of Michigan. Much is anticipated and expected from any first round pick and in this case a position of great need. My mantra has forever been, No D, No Rings!
This first video is short and is a good one to look at as Taco faces the only LT (Ramczyk) taken in the first round of the 2017 draft. Gives us the opportunity to look at him against the best available LT he’d face all of 2016. No need to judge harshly, as the QB was using a quick release to avoid the pressure. The second tape below shows a wider array of his play over the course of the year.
We should be optimistic in that he improved over the course of his years at Michigan. He’s more an untapped resource in my opinion. He didn’t become a starter until his senior season. Prior years he was in a scheme that didn’t embrace or play to his skills. He was lost in a 3 man front until his senior season when the new DC switched to a 4 man front. It produced 9.5 sacks in 2016 from LDE, RDE & inside as well. We’re looking at a player, who is just learning the position and gets one of the best to teach him, one who’ll drag every ounce of effort out of him. The rest is up to him.
Ryan Ramczyk (32 overall – Saints) vs Taco Charlton (28 overall – Cowboys)
(Passing plays) pic.twitter.com/jMDXuKmjgH
— Jayden (@JaydenNFL) May 7, 2017
This second video you will have to click on the tab to jump over to another tab to watch it on Youtube. There are a few things that pop off the tape. First, he’s bigger than the average DE, in height and weight and has to work at keeping his pad level down. He looks like a LDE, but they want/need him at RDE. He played all spots along the defensive line at Michigan and given that it was his first year playing in that 4 man line, he did a solid job and why he was selected in the first round. Not one to mandate that a DE be fast in the 40, as it’s his 10 yard speed that is more important and of frequent need. Taco is a tenth of a second, a blink of an eye slower, than Myles Garrett at the 10 yard split. If you ever watched Tom Coughlin, he sat right on that 1o yard split line and timed each player at that distance.
What I see quite noticeably is that he’s rarely if ever the first defensive lineman off the ball at the snap. Yet, he’s often in the midst of the tackle, regardless of his get off. Indication of his ability and football savvy. Not only that but it appears that at times, he’s looking to read the play first, then react & rush. There is no way, on God’s green earth, that Rod Marinelli will allow that to continue. Rod & Leon Lets, will work him night and day, to get off the line faster and faster. He will hear the full wrath and off color vocabulary of Marinelli’s until he gets with the program. From the right side, there is no doubt he will be focusing on a rush first philosophy. The team clearly has needed a RDE and last years experiment with DeMarcus Lawrence left more questions than solutions. With only one sack over 9 games, they’d like to return Lawrence to the LDE position where he had 8 sacks in 2015.
If you watch only one play in this video, jump to the 4:30 mark and check out this play. He has a first rate, inside spin move that jettisons him into the QB who lets go of the ball early and it floats into the waiting arms of Jourdan Lewis, our 3rd round pick. Nice catch by the way. It’s a play like this that shows the tip of the iceberg on what this young man, Taco, can learn and execute. It shows his athleticism to carry out the spin, so smoothly, wasting no motion nor time in beating the OT. He will get great coaching, now its up to his work ethic and how quick he can get the game to slow down for him to excel.