Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
Weight: 277 pounds
2016: 40 TKL, 13.5 TFL, 10.0 SK, 2 PD
2015: 30 TKL, 8.5 TFL, 5.5 SK, 1 FF
2014: 19 TKL, 5.5 TFL, 3.5 SK
2013: 2 TKL, 0.5 TFL
40-yard dash: 4.92 seconds
Bench press: 25 reps
Vertical jump: 33 inches
Broad jump: 116 inches
3-done drill: 7.17 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.39 seconds
Picture Vinny Curry. Now picture Vinny Curry if he were three inches taller and a tenth of a second faster. Meet Taco Charlton.
It's not entirely clear whether Curry is a flattering NFL comparison for Charlton. Since posting 9.0 sacks during a breakout 2014, Curry registered just 6.0 more over the last two years. Even after a scheme change and signing a contract worth $46 million, Curry still hasn’t been able to crack the starting lineup in five seasons.
Despite the disappointing body of work, Curry has flashed tremendous potential in spurts for the Eagles. In that sense, Charlton again is not entirely dissimilar. A one-year starter at Michigan, Charlton was not consistently productive during his college career -- but that one year was likely enough to vault him into the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Charlton's size is a huge draw. At 277, he's actually 11 pounds heavier than Curry was coming out of Marshall, and it's not difficult to imagine the 22-year-old eventually playing closer to 290-300.
A 6-6, 290-pound defensive end is enticing for a number of reasons. That kind of mass can be difficult to move off the line of scrimmage on running plays. A player that size can also push offensive tackles into the quarterback’s lap and -- even if he doesn’t make the sack -- collapse the pocket or get his hands up and knock down the pass.
Charlton has something that can't be taught, but he's very raw. The 22-year-old didn’t make a ton of stops in opposing backfields against the run, nor was he known for getting his hands up. Great instincts aren’t always something can be taught, either, and right now, Charlton appears to be lacking in that area.
Yet, the issue that might hit closest to home for the Eagles is whether Charlton is the right fit for defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz's wide-nine scheme. Schwartz seems to have had the most success with defensive ends who bring speed off the edge, which is not this young man’s game at all.
If Curry is in any way Charlton's mirror, the 2016 campaign won’t change many minds. Curry's 2.5 sacks were his fewest since his rookie year.
It's also unclear whether the Eagles coaching staff is suited to take on project like Charlton. Again, Schwartz has enjoyed more success with almost the opposite style of pass-rusher, while defensive line coach Chris Wilson is relatively inexperienced for the NFL.
All of which likely explains why there's been little noise about Charlton to the Eagles, despite the need to for talent and depth at defensive end. Because it is such an important position and a spot where the club could use help, we can’t necessarily rule it out. However, it's at least questionable whether Charlton would be a fit here.
Other Eagles draft targets at No. 14:
Tennessee DE Derek Barnett
Michigan DE Taco Charlton
Ohio State CB Gareon Conley
Florida State RB Dalvin Cook
Western Michigan WR Corey Davis
Alabama LB Reuben Foster
LSU RB Leonard Fournette
Alabama TE O.J. Howard
Alabama CB Marlon Humphrey
Washington CB Kevin King
Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey
Michigan State DT Malik McDowell
UCLA DE Takkarist McKinley
Wisconsin OT Ryan Ramczyk
Washington WR John Ross
LSU CB Tre'Davious White
Clemson WR Mike Williams