The Dallas Cowboys drafted former Michigan DE Taco Charlton with the No. 28 pick in the first round Thursday night at the 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia.
Albert Breer from Sports Illustrated first reported the selection, as the latter picks in the draft bogged down with a series of trades. The Cowboys went 13-3 last season but lost 34-31 to the Green Bay Packers in their playoff opener in the divisional round.
Charlton played his best football as a senior, earning first-team All-Big Ten honors after making 43 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks and 2 pass breakups. He produced 5 tackles with 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack and 1 pass knocked down at the line of scrimmage against Florida State in the Orange Bowl, his final college game.
That capped off a final four-game stretch against Iowa, Indiana, Ohio State and the Seminoles in which Charlton made 23 tackles, 8 of which accounted for 35 yards in losses, to go with 5.5 sacks and 2 pass breakups.
Charlton progressively got better throughout his career at Michigan, and he’s got the physical stature NFL teams love in defensive ends. The 6-foot-6, 272-pound end has long arms, good speed and an abundance of upside.
He’s drawn comparisons to former New York Giants/Oakland DE Justin Tuck as well as Carlos Dunlap of the Cincinnati Bengals because of his size and how teams foresee him being able to be a disruptive force as an edge rusher.