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2017 Draft Scout Profile: DE Taco Charlton

Posted Apr 20, 2017

The Michigan defender entered the NFL Draft after a standout senior season, and he would give the Ravens another pass rusher on the defensive front.

DE Taco Charlton, Michigan

Size: 6-foot-6, 277 pounds

2016 stats: 40 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, two passes defensed

Career stats: 91 tackles, 28 tackles for loss, 19 sacks, two passes defensed, one forced fumble

Combine stats: 4.92-second 40-yard dash, 25 bench press reps, 116-inch broad jump, 33-inch vertical jump, 4.39-second 20-yard shuttle

Background: The Michigan product is an imposing physical presence. He has great length and athleticism, and he put it all together for a great senior season with the Wolverines. Charlton played a vital role for a Michigan team that had the best defense in the country, and Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh will certainly lean on his brother Jim to get a sense for what Charlton is like behind the scenes. The biggest concern with Charlton is that he didn’t have great production until his final college season, but that may also be an indication that he’s a player on the rise. For what it’s worth, Charlton said at the combine that he would love to play for John Harbaugh because “he has the same passion for football” as his brother.

Strengths: “Rare combination of size, length and athletic traits as a rusher. Long-levered frame with athletic, knotted calves. Brings freaky athletic traits to [the] table and is still growing into his body. Flashes instant reaction time off snap and up the field thanks to his twitch. Has enough upfield juice to push offensive tackles into hasty retreat. Generates pop through speed-to-power element. Very good flexibility throughout. Able to sink and swerve around corner if he gets early lead in race to the edge. Possesses hip swivel combined with shoulder turn to slip and flip around the corner of an offensive tackle he's engaged with as a pass rusher. Rushes with forward lean that keeps his momentum downhill. Uses rip-and-stab move and an ominous spin move that could turn into a dominant rush trait in the NFL. Elongated lateral slides can open into sprint very quickly to chase run play bouncing outside. Length gives him a shot at dramatically increasing his play-making ability against the run. Hand usage is improving.” – Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Weaknesses: “Allows his pad level to rise and can be washed out of the hole. Needs to better protect his lower body from cut blocks. Unimaginative pass-rush sequence with a predictable spin move. Needs to improve his reaction time and pursuit angles to take away edge runs. Late to read the backfield action, leaving him flat-footed and delayed to the ball -- too many examples of him guessing wrong and needs to get better in this area. Only one season as a full-time starter and finished with 15 collegiate starts on his resume -- late bloomer and struggled to make an impact his first three seasons in Ann Arbor.” – Dane Brugler, CBS Sports

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