In his final season at Michigan, DE Taco Charlton flourished for one of the best defenses in college football and turned himself into a legitimate 2017 NFL Draft prospect. Now, he’s a Dallas Cowboy.
What should fans come to learn about the potential first-round pick? Let’s take a look.
Taco Charlton in 2017 NFL Draft
1. Taco does, indeed, love tacos.
At a young age, Charlton was given the nickname “Taco.” Since all of his friends then believed he enjoyed eating the famous Mexican entree, he attempted to avoid eating the food at all costs. However, his mindset changed once he arrived in Ann Arbor, Mich. Charlton even made his Twitter handle @TheSupremeTaco to encapsulate his love for the dish.
“Now, I love tacos all the time,” Charlton said. “Whether it’s Taco Bell or I go make my own tacos or whatever.”
2. He and former teammate Jake Butt hail from the same area.
Ironically, Charlton and Butt grew up in Pickerington, Ohio, located just east from of Columbus. While the two went to different high schools, they became roommates as soon as they arrived on campus. Evidently, Charlton was never bothered by Butt and the Pickerington North Panthers’ win over his Pickerington Central Tigers in their senior seasons. The eventual Michigan stars would also make the three and one-half hour drive back to their hometown together on occasion.
“We still knew each other and once we both committed we started to talk more than we did before,” Charlton said. “Once we got here we were as close as can be. That’s my brother right there. We’re super close.”
3. He was only a full-time starter in his senior campaign.
In Charlton’s first two seasons in a Wolverines’ uniform, he struggled to see the field on a consistent basis. Once he became an upperclassman, though, his playing time began to increase, amassing 5.5 sacks as a situational pass-rusher in his junior campaign. Last season, he started all 11 games at defensive end, racking up 10 sacks and 13.5 tackles for a loss (TFLs). Moreover, his sack total as a senior sits No. 10 all-time in Michigan history.
4. His potential sits much higher than his present value.
For NFL.com’s Lance Zierlien, he sees Charlton as a budding star down the road because of his ability to wreak havoc in the opponent’s backfield. In his senior season, he recorded at least one sack in seven of his final 10 games, including a 2.5-sack performance against the arch-rival Ohio State Buckeyes in the Wolverines’ regular season finale.
“While his production coming out of college will be modest, he could become a substantially better player as a pro if he’s committed to the weight room and willing to absorb coaching,” Zierlien said. “(He’s a) high-impact defensive end with all-pro potential is his ceiling. His floor is solid starter.”
5. He could end up sticking around in Michigan.
According to the Sporting News, Charlton will be selected by the Detroit Lions with the No. 21 overall pick if he’s still on the board. Additionally, he’s projected to go to the same team in our mock draft.
In the 2016-’17 campaign, coach Jim Caldwell’s bunch was tied with the Cleveland Browns in sacks (26), ranking in the bottom barrel of the league. Besides Kerry Hyder (8) and Devin Taylor (4.5), the rest of the unit barely caused any disruption. Still, Charlton places in at No. 33 within Sporting News’ overall big board, so the Super Bowl-less franchise could end up going elsewhere with its first-round selection.