Vidauntae "Taco" Charlton (born November 7, 1994) is an American football defensive end for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Michigan, and was drafted by the Cowboys in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Charlton in 2016
|No. 97 – Dallas Cowboys|
|Born:||November 7, 1994|
|Height:||6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)|
|Weight:||275 lb (125 kg)|
|High school:||Pickerington Central|
|NFL Draft:||2017 / Round: 1 / Pick: 28|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2018|
Charlton attended Pickerington High School Central in Pickerington, Ohio. As a senior, he had 116 tackles and 19 sacks. He committed to the University of Michigan to play college football. In addition, Charlton played basketball in high school.
Charlton accepted a football scholarship from the University of Michigan. He appeared in 10 games as a backup defensive end his freshman season in 2013. As a sophomore in 2014, he appeared in 12 games with one start, making 19 tackles and 3.5 sacks. He appeared in 13 games with three starts his junior year in 2015, recording 30 tackles and 5.5 sacks.
He became a starter his senior year in 2016. He posted 38 tackles, including 11 tackles-for-loss, and led the team with 10 sacks. Following the 2016 season, Charlton was named to the All-Big Ten defensive first-team, by both the coaches and media.
Coming out of Michigan, Charlton was projected by the majority of NFL draft experts and analysts to be a first round pick. He received an invitation to the NFL combine and completed all required combine and positional drills. On March 24, 2016, he attended Michigan's Pro Day, along with Jake Butt, Jabrill Peppers, Jehu Chesson, Jeremy Clark, Amara Darboh, Ben Gedeon, Ryan Glasgow, Delano Hill, Jourdan Lewis, Chris Wormley, De'Veon Smith, Channing Stribling, and seven other prospects.
He opted to run the 40 (4.86), 20 (2.80), and 10-yard dashes (1.63) again and was able to slightly cut times in all three while also running positional drills. Among the team representatives and scouts from all 32 NFL teams that attended Michigan's highly publicized pro day were eight head coaches, that included; Mike Tomlin (Steelers), Marvin Lewis (Bengals), Bill Belichick (Patriots), Todd Bowles (Jets), Sean Payton (Saints), John Harbaugh (Ravens), Mike Mularkey (Titans), and Jim Caldwell (Lions). He was ranked the sixth best edge rusher in the draft by Sports Illustrated, was ranked the sixth best defensive end by ESPN, and was ranked the seventh best edge rusher by Pro Football Focus.
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP|
|6 ft 6 in
|34 1⁄4 in
|9 3⁄4 in
|4.92 s||1.69 s||2.85 s||4.39 s||7.17 s||33 in
|9 ft 8 in
|All value from NFL Combine.|
On May 11, 2017, the Dallas Cowboys signed Charlton to a four-year, $10.02 million contract that includes $7.73 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $5.43 million. He competed with Benson Mayowa, Charles Tapper, and Damontre Moore throughout training camp for a backup defensive end position. Head coach Jason Garrett named Charlton the backup right defensive end behind Tyrone Crawford to begin the regular season.
Charlton made his regular season debut in the Dallas Cowboys' season-opener against the New York Giants and finished without a statistic in the 19–3 victory. The following game, he made his first career tackle during the Cowboys' 17–42 loss to the Denver Broncos. He started the season slow, remaining a backup behind DeMarcus Lawrence, who had 14.5 sacks, and Tyrone Crawford. He recorded his first career sack against the Kansas City Chiefs. He had 2 of his 3 sacks in the last 5 games.
Charlton's nickname, "Taco", was given to him by his mother and grandmother.
- U-M's Butt, Charlton are pride of Pickerington — just outside Columbus
- DE Charlton chooses U-M
- Two-sport star? Beilein remembers U-M's Charlton on court
- Michigan's Taco Charlton says there's no excuse anymore, he's shooting for a big final year
- Michigan's Taco Charlton lighter, comfortable at old position
- A call to arms: U-M's Taco Charlton using wingspan to disrupt offenses
- Windsor: Taco Charlton helps make Michigan's DL among best in nation
- "Peppers, Lewis Lead All 11 Defenders Honored by B1G". MGoBlue.com. CBS Interactive. November 29, 2016. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
- "2016 Big Ten Individual Award Winners" (PDF). www.grfx.cstv.com. Big Ten Conference. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
- Gil Brandt (March 24, 2017). "Pro day results: Michigan, Cal, BYU, Akron, Utah State". Retrieved November 2, 2017.
- Chase Goodbread (March 24, 2017). "Michigan pro day workout draws long list of NFL coaches". NFL.com. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
- Chris Burke (April 24, 2017). "2017 NFL draft rankings: Top prospects by position". si.com. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
- Jeff Legwold (April 22, 2017). "Ranking the 2017 Draft's Top 100 Prospects". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
- "Top 32 Prospects for the 2017 NFL Draft". profootballfocus.com. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
- "Taco Charlton, DS #4 DE, Michigan". nfldraftscout.com. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
- "How First-Round Pick Taco Charlton Will Fit In The Cowboys' Defensive Plans". DallasCowboys.com. April 27, 2017. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
- "Spotrac.com: Taco Charlton contract". spotrac.com. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
- "NFL Player Profile: Taco Charlton". NFL.com. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
- George, Brandon (April 28, 2017). "Introducing first-round pick Taco Charlton: From mom's draft-night prayer to dad's Cowboys fandom". sportsday.dallasnews.com. Retrieved January 25, 2018.