The Dallas Cowboys introduced Michigan edge rusher Taco Charlton, their first round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones mentioned the need for a "war daddy" pass rusher, and Charlton was the top one left on the team's draft board at the 28th pick.
"Natural, physical, athletic ability, as well as the measurables," Jones said. "If those measurables fall in that definition of war-daddy, then this guy looks like a defensive player and he looks like a defensive end in the NFL.”
Charlton was one of the nine edge rushers the Cowboys hosted during an official pre-draft visit.
"They showed a lot of interest. I came for a visit and everything went great," he said. "The coaching staff showed me a lot of love, from all the personnel and everybody I met with."
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Charlton said he doesn't look up to former players, but he aspires to have a career like former Cowboy DeMarcus Ware.
"I think I can really be a dominant player. If you watch a lot of the big games, I was able to take over those games and make big plays and be an impact player," he said. "I think I can do that in Dallas."
Head coach Jason Garrett said the team has a good environment for defensive linemen to grow and that Charlton is the type of person to thrive in such an environment.
"We think he does a lot of good things technically as a rusher, but he also has a lot of room to grow as a rusher because of his athleticism," he said. "He has some unique traits because of his length. He’s able to do somethings that maybe some of the other rushers can’t do."
Ht. 6'5½", Wt. 277, Arm: 34¼, Hand: 9¾", Bench: 25
40 yd: 4.92, 10 yd.: 1.70, 3 Cone: 7.17, Vertical: 33", Broad: 9'6"
Vidauntae "Taco" Charlton was named the starting defensive end before his senior year at Michigan in 2016 and he responded with a season that earned him first-team all-conference honors. He finished the year with 13 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks, including at least one in each of his last four games.
Before his senior season, Charlton played sparingly in his first three seasons for the Wolverines, making only four starts.
• Size - Ideal frame, build for position
• Length - Ideal, uses it well
• Burst - Surprising first step
• Strength - Converts speed to power well
• Flexibility - Good bend for size
• Hands - Quick, accurate
• Pass Rush - Spin, rip, swat/swing, etc.
• Run Defense - Good stack, shed
• Inconsistent - Flashes, disappears
• Pad Level - Plays too upright
• Balance - Loses effectiveness when playing tall
• Inexperience - Looks like he's still figuring out position
Despite an all-conference season, Charlton still isn't the sum of his parts. He has the look of an All-Pro defensive end and has shown he can beat offensive linemen in virtual every way, but there were still a lot of plays where he was erased too easily. But the NFL Draft is all about traits, and Charlton's are elite.
The NFL is good at valuing edge defenders, so teams picking outside the top 15 or so typically have to take a chance on flawed players. Charlton's flaw is why his elite traits didn't translate to more production. If the Cowboys want a guy with an ideal frame and a quick first step that can bend around the edge, convert speed to power and counter with an elite spin move, Charlton is worth the risk.