While he was a late bloomer for the Wolverines, Taco Charlton brokeout in a huge way as a senior. You saw him make huge impacts in big games against Ohio State and in the Orange Bowl against Florida State with the ability to single handedly take over the game as a disruptive pass rusher. His emergence makes a deep edge class even deeper.
Name: Taco Charlton
Comparison: Phillip Merling
Draft Grade: 2nd Round
Positives: Ideal height with arm length and good sized paws. Good bulk in his hips and has a sturdy lower body. Good body proportion. Moves very well for his size. Good pop off the snap and tears up space quickly. Agile like a big cat. Springs back up quickly when taken down and gets second life on a play. Good hips which give him a lot of flexibility and ability to contort his lower body while staying locked in up top. Naturally strong. Has hands like defibrillation paddles that shock defenders back. Will lock, turn, and toss offensive lineman who get out of position. Does a good job leaning his hips and getting low when getting ready to cross the finish line and make a play on the ball. Extends his arms and swallows quarterbacks. Has a developing spin move. Big disruption radius due to athleticism and length which allows him chances to impact the game when others can’t. Has the body type where he could play all over in different schemes. Has gained weight and lost weight to play different roles. Looks natural standing up and can rush from anywhere. Shows just as much effort against the run as he does rushing the passer. Has the attitude to dominate every play he’s on the field. Fire burns hot all game long. Will make an honest effort and jog out plays that aren’t in his zone. Has the total respect of his teammates. Comes from a good family. Has great values and seeks those values in the people he surrounds himself with. Determined to be successful
Negatives: Not an elite explosive athlete. Not a leaper who have a great impact on throwing lanes. Still a raw and undisciplined rusher. Too often a man without a plan when attacking his tackle and gets taken out of too many rushes. Still learning how to use counters and diversify his rush. Doesn’t react quickly to what he sees and too often looks to be thinking instead of reacting. Pad level has improved greatly over time but periodically still shows up. A slow developing player who was a raw prospect as a prep and long into his college career. Unsure why it took so long for the light to turn on.
Outlook: Taco Charlton is one of the emerging names in a deep group of pass-rushers that brings unique size, agility, toughness, effort, and upside to the table. Charlton took on a bigger role this season after improving tremendously during the spring and summer months. Although he lacks elite athletic traits and doesn’t have a deep track record of success he has more than enough skills to develop. Charlton has a moldable body and athleticism to play inside or outside. Very similar to Phillip Merling who had similar size, length, scheme versatility, relentlessness and raw pass-rushing skills. His value is in the second round.