NFL Draft Scouting Report: Taco Charlton

Defensive End, #33
Senior, 6’6″ 277

  • All Big Ten First Team
  • Elite size and length
  • Long frame with room to grow
  • Converts speed to power
  • Great athlete
  • Played both right and left defensive end
  • Good hand placement
  • Only one year starter
  • Inconsistent play
  • Must improve run defense

Taco Charlton is a long armed, rangy athlete who’s talent alone makes him an intriguing prospect. What’s even scarier, is that he may just be scratching the surface of his capability. Charlton uses his speed and length to get around defenders to attack the backfield. His hand placement improved considerably during his time in Ann Arbor and accumulated seven sacks over his last 10 games as a Wolverine. At times he shows elite burst off the line, can open his hips and get around the tackle. The below clip is a perfect example and fully displays Charlton’s athletic ability and burst off the line.

As mentioned previously Charlton played his best down the stretch recording seven sacks over the final 10 games all while playing against the best competition he would see all year. The numbers however don’t do him justice. He effected the game by drawing double teams, getting pressure and hitting the quarterback against some of the better lineman in the conference.

Charlton also has begun to expand his pass rush moves, particularly in through the final part of his senior season. While he most hone and refine them, his potential is almost unlimited. This clip below shows a solid spin move all while keeping his speed and momentum going forward. He attacks the quarterback and forces an earlier throw then was desired.

The knock on Charlton is that this isn’t seen enough despite his immense talent and capability. Inconsistency is the one constant in his tape which combined with only one year as a full time starter will make scouts and general manager’s look twice. He will need to improve his overall strength to hold up against NFL caliber linemen in the run game, though his frame does show promise for adding size and muscle. Charlton is an explosive athlete and the question for scouts and general manager’s will be this; is he a one year wonder or is just beginning to scratch the surface with his immense talent?

Games watched: Ohio State 2016, Rutgers 2016, Penn State 2016, Northwestern 2015

Round Value: First Round

Player Comparison: Jadeveon Clowney.

I made this comparison based off the similar measurables but also because of each players athletic ability. Like Clowney, Charlton will need to improve his strength to hold up at the point of attack and still maintain that burst off the line. While not the elite athlete Clowney is, I can see Charlton taking a year or two before putting it together for whoever NFL franchise drafts him.

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