With the 28th pick in the 2017 NF Draft, the Cowboys select Taco Charlton, so says Roger Goodell! Was he their first choice for the first round? We’ll never really know for sure. Could have been Takk (“F” bomb) McKinley or Adoree Jackson that were part of the short list. Even Rod Marinelli was smiling minutes before the pick went in.
Nevertheless, what do we have in Taco Charlton, that’s the important question. He has many attributes that you want to see in height 6′ 6″, weight 277 and arm length of 34.25″ is outstanding for a DE. The team said all the right things last night in explaining the selection, high lighting those measurables. They also made a point to state that he’s in great shape and health. No nicks, surgery’s, etc, which after the number of picks they’ve had over the years that arrived injured, Taco is one healthy cat, ready to roll.
Welcome to @thestarinfrisco @TheSupremeTaco! #CowboysDraft pic.twitter.com/GFSMXTPcdI
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) April 28, 2017
One of the keys to the selection may be that our secondary coach, Greg Jackson, was on Jim Harbaugh’s staff up at Michigan. That clearly provided insight to the type of person Taco is on and off the field. Just listened to his press conference at the Star in Frisco and he’ll be an easy person to get to know and like.His smile reminded me of Magic Johnson, wide grin, happy as could be and why not.
In his three playing years at Michigan he steadily improved and as he said as a freshman he went up against Taylor Lewan and now he gets to face Tyrun which will only make him better. He had 9.5 to 10 sacks last year and 19 sacks in the 33 games he played at Michigan. His first two years they played a 3 man front according to Dane Brugler and it wasn’t an ideal fit for Taco. In 2016 they went to a 4 man front and he basically exploded statistically and pushed himself into a 1st round selection.
What should we expect? We should be looking to his development more than anything. My take is that typically it takes a DE a few years to reach their potential. Rare they come out firing; Pass rushing is an incredible art that has to be learned and implemented. They have to learn how to set up a rush, where in college for some, they were just far better and could bypass technique. It takes time to learn the technique, foot movements required at the NFL level. The top 28 LT’s in the league are better than any LT they saw in their college years. That’s a really tall order to excel in a matter of months. In college they may face two OT’s that are top tier, then three or four who are serviceable and the rest of the competition is likely below average. You can only judge a DE in games against the best 4-5 OT’s he faces, see how he did against any OT’s that are “draftable” for where they truly stand. That tells you if you have a premier DE or a developing player with a high ceiling.
Where will he play? According to Stephan Jones, he’s a RDE. Hallelujah! In watching tape on him, much of his success / sacks came from the LDE spot, so that’s a bit of a concern. We have a boat load of LDE’s and we need RDE’s. We tried Lawrence there this past season but that only produced one measly little sack. Granted he was out four games to start the season and that back of his, cost him a few more down the stretch. At first glance at Taco’s size and weight, he has the look of a LDE, to be stout against the run on the strong side. Taco does show the full flexibility across the D line. He is a little slower than I’d like, 4.9 at the combine and 4.83 at his Pro Day.
Cowboys first round pick, Taco Charlton pic.twitter.com/nEKVEt328V
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) April 28, 2017
Now we have two new players at DE for this year in Taco and Tapper. The defensive line room appears to be a little crowded, so the preseason will serve to thin out that room and see who’s on the right and left. I wanted and still want two CB’s but there are a few rounds remaining. We have to accept that there were fewer top tier DE’s than quality CB’s. Tonight expect a run on those CB’s but the class is deep that we can still get some good talent. Even Stephan last night in the press conference that CB’s will be there for them at the bottom of the 2nd round. He said that several times, so it has the appearance of being high on their wish list. Stay tuned!