Raiders 2017 NFL Draft Prospect: DE Taco Charlton


The Oakland Raiders need help across all levels of the defense, particularly upfront, and Taco Charlton is one of several options for Reggie McKenzie.

Drafting defense has been a re-occurring theme for the majority of the offseason. I’m sure most were disappointed how the Oakland Raiders defense produced as a whole after investing heavily both in free agency, as well as the draft on that side of the ball.

The defensive line was one of the weaker units for the Raiders. Khalil Mack was relatively a one-man show, and had little to no help from anyone else on the defensive line.

All of that could change if players like Jihad Ward and Mario Edwards Jr. step up and become major contributors in 2017, or if McKenzie drafted more pass rushers. A player that could be there at pick #24 could be Taco Charlton.

Let’s take a look at see what Taco brings to the table.


Taco played in 33 games for his career, and was able to tally 56 total tackles (28 for loss), 19 sacks, and one forced fumble during his time with the Michigan Wolverines.

Those numbers will not make you fall out of your chair, especially for someone who was in college for all four years. Charlton was primarily a special teams contributor in his first year at Michigan, and slowly earned more playing time. His junior and senior seasons were the biggest sample size most could take away from. Taco earned all Big-12 honors his senior season, leading the Wolverines in sacks.


Taco is one of the bigger defensive lineman in this years class, being listed at 6’6″ and 277 lbs. He is clearly a mammoth of a man, and is praised for his exceptional length.

At the combine, Taco posted a 40-yard dash time of 4.92, and put up 25 reps on the bench press, and had a vertical of 33 inches. Most of the primary numbers Taco posted at the combine were middle of the pack.


The first thing you notice with Taco would be his rare size and athletic ability as a defensive lineman. Taco has been labeled as a player who has not yet completely grown into his size, and is continually starting to learn how powerful he can really be.

Charlton possesses a great burst when jumping off the line, and he made offensive lineman pay dearly for it.

Taco also possesses some good pass-rushing techniques that have impressed some scouts. More specifically his spin move, that could turn into a great strength at the next level.


While Charlton has some quality traits that could translate to the NFL, he does have some flaws that would make me question whether his is a first round draft prospect. The first thing I noticed was his inability to set the edge in the run game.

Taco was also marked down for his inconsistent play throughout his time at Michigan. Some found it concerning that Taco was only a full-time starter in his senior year, and thought he did not show the toughness, nor consistency when evaluating him.

More from Just Blog Baby


When it is all said and done, I would think that Taco would end up going in the better half of the first round. In my opinion he is most definitely a Top 50 prospect, but he does not belong in the first round.

Taco seems to be a bit of a project considering he has not fully grown into his own size, and has questions about his overall toughness when it comes to battling in the trenches. With that being said, I still expect Taco to get drafted somewhere in the bottom half of the second round.