DE Taco Charlton, Michigan

6’6” – 272 lbs. – 4.75e

Worked as a reserve/special-teams player as a freshman, then worked into the defensive line rotation over the next two years before assuming a more regular starting role as a senior. Lines up at defensive end on both sides of the line, with different alignments; takes the occasional snap from the inside on obvious passing downs and has a little bit of experience rushing from a two-point stance. Tall, long-limbed defensive end who may need some further upper-body development but otherwise looks the part of a pro edge rusher. Might be a little bit thinner than his listed weight. Plays with a strong motor. Usually exhibits a slight delay when reacting to the ball being snapped, but accelerates smoothly off the line of scrimmage, with natural athleticism; good closing speed when he’s secured a lane to the passer. Primarily a speed-to-power player in the passing game; most frequently attempts to win the outside but looks most dangerous when he’s schemed open on inside rushes. Will keep his legs churning after contact and can occasionally generate push against offensive tackles. Fairly straightforward rusher who relies on his natural athleticism; has been rewarded when he’s worked spins and other moves into his repertoire but doesn’t do so on a consistent basis. Capable of dipping the shoulder and bending the edge. Overall hand use is pretty active. Could stand to improve his balance somewhat; usually okay but gets overextended from time to time or looks like he’s playing on skates. Might be best in a two-gap defense. More physical than powerful; doesn’t shy away from contact. Generally able to anchor versus blockers but doesn’t walk opposing tackles back very often. At his best, is able to scrape down the line and obstruct runners in the run game. Flashes the ability to make tackles while engaged; length gives him a wide radius. However, struggles to disengage quickly when an opponent gets inside his pads, allowing runners to get to the outside. Tends to get sucked inside on running plays and needs to do a better job of protecting the corner. Looks tentative and doesn’t always make successful reads when presented with read-options. Still a pretty raw player at this point, but has a lot of the physical and athletic tools teams look for in an edge player at the next level and was pretty productive in his first season with the first-team. Could eventually be an every-down starter, but isn’t a plug-and-play prospect; at this point, is probably more capable as a run defender than a pass rusher.

Games watched: Northwestern (’15), Penn St. (’16), Rutgers (’16)

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