Tag Archives: Taco Charlton

2017 NFC East Draft Grades

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Dallas Cowboys

First-Round Pick: Taco Charlton-Defensive End-Michigan

Best Pick: Taco Charlton

Grade: B

The 2016 National Football League season saw the Dallas Cowboys go 13-3 en route to winning the NFC East Championship. However the Cowboys have still been unable to advance past the second round of the playoffs since winning the Super Bowl at the conclusion of the 1995 season. Last year showed that the Cowboys have the offensive firepower to win the Super Bowl, but their defense lags behind.

Taco Charlton

Focusing of fixing their defense was the plan of attack for the Cowboys heading into the 2017 National Football League Draft and they made sure to stick to their guns. The first round saw the Cowboys select Michigan Wolverines defensive end Taco Charlton. In four years at Michigan, Charlton continued to improve as an edge rusher, and although that he might not be the next DeMarcus Ware, he is definitely a breath of fresh air for a Dallas team that needs to put more pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

The Cowboys were 26th in the National Football League in pass defense last season, and after drafting Charlton, four of their next five picks in the draft would see them focus on the secondary which was highlighted by them selecting Colorado Buffaloes cornerback Chidobe Awuzie in the second round.

This draft class might not produce immediate impact players for the Cowboys, but it is definitely a step in the right direction for them on the defensive side of the football.

New York Giants

First-Round Pick: Evan Engram-Tight End-Ole Miss

Best Pick: Evan Engram

Grade: C

In spite of the fact that the New York Giants were a playoff team last year, they still entered the 2017 National Football League Draft needing to address several holes on both sides of the ball. The Giants have spent this off-season attempting to give quarterback Eli Manning bigger targets to get the football to in the red zone. And in the first round of the draft, New York selected Ole Miss Rebels tight end Evan Engram.

At 6’3″, 234 lbs., Engram could be viewed as a big wide receiver or a small tight end. But what Engram gives the Giants is a presence. The past few years have seen the Giants rely on smaller wide receivers such as Odell Beckham Jr. But as good as Beckham is, he is not going to win that many jump ball situations in the red zone which is where Engram comes into play. With defenses focused on Beckham, Engram can work the seams, while also keeping linebackers honest as he should help to improve Manning’s efficiency.

After losing defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins in free agency to the Indianapolis Colts, I expected New York to find his replacement early on in the draft. The Giants used a second-round choice on Alabama Crimson Tide defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson who could be another project on New York’s defensive line. Tomlinson was surrounded by nothing but talent at Alabama, and he is now joining one of the top defenses in the National Football League.

Davis Webb

There is a possibility that the Giants may have found Manning’s heir apparent in the third round of the draft when they selected California Golden Bears quarterback Davis Webb. Webb played in two prolific offenses during his collegiate days which saw him start off with the Texas Tech Red Raiders before he transferred to Berkley. Now Webb must convert from the air-raid offense to a more conventional pro-style, and who better for him to learn from than a two-time Super Bowl MVP.

The main problem for the Giants is that they had too many holes, without having multiple picks in the early rounds to fill all of those needs. The Giants still have issues on the offensive line and at linebacker as it is going to be paramount for them to develop players such as their sixth-round in guard Adam Bisnowaty in order to keep up with the top teams in the NFC.

Washington Redskins

First-Round Pick: Jonathan Allen-Defensive Tackle-Alabama

Best Pick: Round Four-Samaje Perine-Running Back-Oklahoma

Grade: C+

The Washington Redskins entered the 2017 National Football League Draft with some glaring needs on the offensive side of the ball and they did not address those issues. This off-season has seen the Redskins allow their top two wide receivers from last season in DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon to each leave in free agency. This didn’t make quarterback Kirk Cousins a happy camper as he already wasn’t thrilled about the fact that Washington slapped the franchise tag on him for the second consecutive year.

Jonathan Allen

There was a run on wide receivers early in the draft which saw all of the pass catchers who had first round grades attached to them come off of the board by the time that the Redskins would make their selection. Instead of trading up get a wide receiver, the ‘Skins selected Alabama Crimson Tide defensive end Jonathan Allen.

The Redskins did have issues on defense last year as well as they were 28th in the National Football League in total defense and the drafting of Allen gives them a versatile body on their defensive line. Washington was able to keep the defensive theme going in the second round when they selected Allen’s Alabama teammate in outside linebacker Ryan Anderson which was followed by taking UCLA Bruins cornerback Fabian Moreau in the third round.

Washington would find themselves a road grader in the fourth round when they selected Oklahoma Sooners running back Semaje Perine. At 5’11”, 233 lbs., Perine is very difficult to tackle due to his thick lower body as he has tree trunks for legs. Perine’s 4,122 rushing yards at Oklahoma are the most in the history of the program which says a ton with the likes of Billy Sims and Adrian Peterson having played there. And now Perine could become very valuable in the Washington’s backfield.

The Redskins didn’t select a wide receiver until the sixth round when they picked Georgia State Panthers wide receiver Robert Davis who will probably be a special teams player initially. And this inability for the Redskins to address their issues at the wide receiver position could hinder their chances of making the postseason here in 2017.

Philadelphia Eagles

First-Round Pick: Derek Barnett-Defensive End-Florida State

Best Pick: Derek Barnett

Grade: B

The Philadelphia Eagles finished in last place of the NFC East in 2016, but this is a team that isn’t too far off from being a playoff contender. The Eagles went 7-9 which included posting victories over the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys who were each playoff teams. The Eagles have already had a strong off-season as they signed wide Alshon Jeffery, along with defensive end Chris Long who helped the New England Patriots will the Super Bowl last year. And a strong showing by Philadelphia at the National Football League Draft could be the icing on the cake for what has been a productive off-season for them.

Derek Barnett

The Eagles needed to continue to process of beefing up their pass rush which they did in the first round of the draft by selecting Tennessee Volunteers defensive end Derek Barnett. In three years at Tennessee, Barnett amassed 33 sacks and in the process he broke the school record of former Eagles defensive end Reggie White. Barnett can be as good as advertised and playing alongside the likes of Long and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox in Philadelphia could make him a logical candidate to be National Football League’s Defensive Rookie of the Year.

The Eagles would then turn their focus to the secondary as their next two selections would be used on Washington Huskies cornerback Sindey Jones and West Virginia Mountaineers cornerback Rasul Douglas. In the fourth round Philadelphia would select San Diego State Aztecs running back Donnel Pumphrey who enters the National Football League as the Football Bowl Subdivision’s all-time leading rusher with 6,290 yards. Pumphrey is in the mold of current Eagles running back Darren Sproles as he is a short and shifty back coming out of the backfield who can be dangerous in space.

The rich get richer and this draft class could springboard the Eagles to their first postseason appearance since 2013.

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2017 NFL Mock Draft 3.0

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1. Cleveland Browns-Myles Garrett-Defensive End-Texas A&M

The Cleveland Browns could mess this up, but at some point common sense has to kick in.

2. San Francisco 49ers-Solomon Thomas-Defensive End-Stanford

There are several directions in which the 49ers could go here, but they need more play makers on their defensive line

3. Chicago Bears-Jamal Adams-Strong Safety-LSU

If the Chicago Bears are hopeful for a quick turnaround in 2017, they are going to have to go through the Green Bay Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers which means that they are going to have to beef up the secondary.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars-Leonard Fournette-Running Back-LSU

The Jaguars are in the business of improving the team around quarterback Blake Bortles which means that the running game is a top priority.

5. Tennessee Titans-Malik Hooker-Free Safety-Ohio State

The Titans are just one or two play makers away from being the team to beat in the AFC South. And the addition of Malik Hooker will get Tennessee closer to that goal.

Mitch Trubisky

6. New York Jets-Mitch Trubisky-Quarterback-North Carolina

The Jets could go quarterback here which would mean that they are giving up on quarterbacks Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenburg.

7. Los Angeles Chargers-Jabril Peppers-Strong Safety-Michigan

Jabril Peppers could be the ultimate wild card in the National Football League Draft as he could be selected anywhere from 5-25 in the first round.

8. Carolina Panthers-Dalvin Cook-Running Back-Florida State

When the Panthers were one of the top teams in the NFL in 2015, their bread and butter was the running game which they need to get back to.

9. Cincinnati Bengals-Derek Barnett-Defensive End-Tennessee

Under head coach Marvin Lewis, the Bengals have always had a litany of athletes on their defensive line which continues here with the addition of Derek Barnett.

10. Buffalo Bills-Marshon Lattimore-Cornerback-Ohio State

For the Buffalo Bills to assert themselves as a playoff team in 2017, they are going to have to go through the New England Patriots in the AFC East which means having as many athletes as possible in their secondary.

11. New Orleans Saints-Haason Reddick-Outside Linebacker-Temple

The Saints already have one of the top offenses in the National Football League, and now it is time to develop a complimentary defense.

Deshaun Watson

12. Cleveland Browns-Deshaun Watson-Quarterback-Clemson

Just like if the Browns avoid taking Myles Garrett, they will regret not taking Deshaun Watson here because he is a winner.

13. Arizona Cardinals-Corey Davis-Wide Receiver-Western Michigan

After wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had 1,023 receiving yards, J.J. Nelson was the next closest wide receiver on the Cardinals with just 568 yards which means that they need to get more players that can stretch the field.

14. Philadelphia Eagles-Christian McCaffrey-Running Back-Stanford

With running back Darren Sproles being 33-years of age, the Philadelphia Eagles need another versatile running back who can fill that void.

15. Indianapolis Colts-O.J. Howard-Tight End-Alabama

The Colts need to get more play makers around quarterback Andrew Luck and a tight end such as O.J. Howard who is theoretically a big wide receiver could help that process.

16. Baltimore Ravens-Jonathan Allen-Defensive Tackle-Alabama

If Jonathan Allen falls this far, he would come into the NFL with a chip on his shoulder, and he would join an organization that knows how to win.

17. Washington Redskins-Mike Williams-Wide Receiver-Clemson

After allowing wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon to leave in the free agency, the Washington Redskins must do everything possible to keep quarterback Kirk Cousins happy.

18. Tennessee Titans-John Ross-Wide Receiver-Washington

As the Titans have one of the top rushing attacks in the NFL, they need a burner at the wide receiver position that can stretch the field on play action.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Reuben Foster-Inside Linebacker-Alabama

If the Buccaneers are going to be a legitimate playoff contender in 2017, they are going to need more leaders on the defensive side of the football.

20. Denver Broncos-David Njoku-Tight End-Miami

As the Denver Broncos hardly got any production out of the tight end position in 2016, they need to improve there regardless of whether it will be Trevor Semian or Paxton Lynch under center this year.

Taco Charlton

21. Detroit Lions-Taco Charlton-Defensive End-Michigan

After the Detroit Lions only registered 26 sacks last season, they need all of the help that they can get on their defensive line.

22. Miami Dolphins-Charles Harris-Defensive End-Missouri

If the Miami Dolphins are serious about pushing the Patriots for supremacy in the AFC East, they need as many pass rushers as possible in order to slow down quarterback Tom Brady.

23. New York Giants-Malik McDowell-Defensive Tackle

After the Giants recently lost defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins in free agency to the Colts, this is a no-brainer selection here for general manager Jerry Reese.

24. Oakland Raiders-Marlon Humphrey-Cornerback-Alabama

After watching the Raiders secondary once quarterback Derek Carr got injured last year, they need all the help that they can get.

Patrick Mahomes II

25. Houston Texans-Patrick Mahomes II-Quarterback-Texas Tech

The Texans thought that they were going to get quarterback Tony Romo which led them to trading quarterback Brock Osweiler to the Browns. But when Romo decided on retirement, it changed the thought process in Houston.

26. Seattle Seahawks-Ryan Ramczyk-Offensive Tackle-Wisconsin

As quarterback Russell Wilson was sacked 41 times last year, it is not a recipe for good things if the Seahawks want to be a legit title contender once again.

27. Kansas City Chiefs-Forrest Lamp-Guard-Western Kentucky

The Chiefs have several needs as they enter the NFL Draft, but Forrest Lamp is simply too good for them to pass up on.

Carl Lawson

28. Dallas Cowboys-Carl Lawson-Defensive End-Auburn

Ever since the Cowboys released defensive end DeMarcus Ware in 2014, they have lacked a quality edge rusher which has prevented them from being a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

29. Green Bay Packers-Tre’Davious White-Cornerback-LSU

After the Packers were lit up in the NFC Championship Game against the Atlanta Falcons, the secondary will be a top priority for them in the draft.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers-Zach Cunningham-Outside Linebacker-Vanderbilt

If you watched Zach Cunningham play in college, he is prototypical Steeler linebacker.

31. Atlanta Falcons-Garrett Bolles-Offensive Tackle-Utah

Whereas quarterback Matt Ryan was sacked 37 times last year, the Falcons are going to have to give him more protection if they want to get back to the Super Bowl.

32. New Orleans Saints-Kevin King-Cornerback-Washington

If the Saints fix their defense in this draft, they could be a playoff team this season.

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2017 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

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1. Cleveland Browns Myles Garrett-Defensive End-Texas A&M

The Cleveland Browns have a ton of needs heading into the National Football League Draft, and a good place to start is to pick the best player that will be available.

 

Mitch Trubisky

2. San Francisco 49ers- Mitch Trubisky-Quarterback-North Carolina

The San Francisco 49ers are set to begin life with a new general manager in John Lynch, and a new head coach in Kyle Shanahan as it only makes sense for them to find a new franchise quarterback as well.

3. Chicago Bears-Jonathan Allen-Defensive Tackle-Alabama

In order for the Chicago Bears to once again be a player in the NFC North, they are going to have to get tougher in the trenches.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars-Dalvin Cook-Running Back-Florida State

In 2016, the Jacksonville Jaguars leading rusher was running back T.J. Yeldon with just 465 which is all that you’ll need to know why they must select a running back here.

5. Tennessee Titans-Solomon Thomas-Defensive End-Stanford

The Tennessee Titans are on the cusp of being the team to beat in the AFC South. And with Dick LeBeau as the Titans defensive coordinator, it’s time to stockpile up on versatile edge rushers.

6. New York Jets-Marshon Lattimore-Cornerback-Ohio State

There are numerous ways that the New York Jets can go with this selection. But with an aging Darrelle Revis at cornerback, the Jets must get younger in the secondary.

7. Los Angeles Chargers-Malik Hooker-Free Safety-Ohio State

2016 saw the Los Angeles Chargers go out of their way to lose games, and a turnaround begins with solidifying the secondary.

 

Leonard Fournette

8. Carolina Panthers- Leonard Fourtnette-Running Back-LSU

The Carolina Panthers love to run the football which is something that they got away from last year. But it won’t take the Panthers that long to get back to what won them the NFC Championship in 2015.

9. Cincinnati Bengals-Mike Williams-Wide Receiver-Clemson

Injuries have taken away from the effectiveness of wide receiver A.J. Green, and it’s time for the Cincinnati Bengals to add some depth at the position.

10. Buffalo Bills-DeShone Kizer-Quarterback-Notre Dame

This selection will signal the end of Tyrod Taylor’s time with the Buffalo Bills.

11. New Orleans Saints-Zach Cunningham-Outside Linebacker-Vanderbilt

The NFC South is littered with quality quarterbacks, and if the New Orleans Saints are going to get to the playoffs for the first time since 2013, they are going to need more pass rushers.

12. Cleveland Browns-Reuben Foster-Inside Linebacker-Alabama

Browns head coach Hue Jackson is looking to change the culture within his locker room. And what a better way to begin that process than by bringing in a player such as Reuben Foster who is a winner.

13. Arizona Cardinals-Ryan Ramczyk-Offensive Tackle-Wisconsin

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer was sacked 40 times last year. And if the Cardinals are going to entertain any chances of making the Super Bowl, they must protect Palmer.

14. Indianapolis Colts-Cam Robinson-Offensive Tackle-Alabama

For too long the Indianapolis Colts organization has asked quarterback Andrew Luck to do too much by himself. Luck is one of the better play makers in the NFL, but he needs protection in front of him.

15. Philadelphia Eagles-Teez Tabor-Cornerback-Florida

In a division with wide receivers such as Dez Bryant, Odell Beckham Jr., and DeSean Jackson, the Philadelphia Eagles need as many athletes as possible in their secondary.

16. Baltimore Ravens-Derek Barnett-Defensive End-Tennessee

When the Baltimore Ravens are at their best, they are rushing the passer.

17. Washington Redskins-Jamal Adams-Strong Safety-LSU

Last season the Washington Redskins were 25th in the NFL in pass defense as they need a play maker in their secondary.

 

Jabril Peppers

18. Tennessee Titans-Jabril Peppers-Strong Safety-Michigan

Don’t expect the Titans to be pushed around defensively in 2017.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-O.J. Howard-Tight End-Alabama

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have their franchise quarterback as they are continuing the process of putting quality players around him at the skill positions.

20. Denver Broncos-Christian McCaffrey-Running Back-Stanford

For many years wide receiver Ed McCaffrey was one of the go-to guys for quarterback John Elway with the Denver Broncos. And with Elway now serving as the Broncos executive vice president of football operations, he’ll find another play maker from Stanford who’ll make a huge impact in Denver.

21. Detroit Lions-Taco Charlton-Defensive End-Michigan

Last year the Detroit Lions only managed to register 26 sacks, and if they’re going to overtake the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North, they must find a way to get to quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

22. Miami Dolphins-David Njoku-Tight End-Miami

David Njoku won’t spend that much money on moving expenses as he’ll just move to another locker room at Hard Rock Stadium.

23. New York Giants-Carl Lawson-Defensive End-Auburn

Just in case that the New York Giants don’t re-sign defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, they’ll get themselves some insurance.

24. Oakland Raiders-Marlon Humphrey-Cornerback-Alabama

The Oakland Raiders issues in their secondary were exposed when quarterback Derek Carr suffered a fractured fibula. And if the Raiders are going to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender, they must improve the secondary.

25. Houston Texans-Takkarist McKinley-Outside Linebacker-UCLA

If the Houston Texans can get themselves a quality veteran quarterback, they’ll have a championship caliber defense to pair him with.

26. Seattle Seahawks-Garrett Bolles-Offensive Tackle-Utah

The Seattle Seahawks don’t resemble the team that won the Super Bowl in 2013. And for the Seahawks to get back to being a championship team, they are going to have to run the football more effectively, while also protecting quarterback Russell Wilson which begins with better play on the offensive line.

27. Kansas City Chiefs-Corey Davis-Wide Receiver-Western Michigan

There is a huge drop off in the passing offense of the Kansas City Chiefs once you eliminate tight end Travis Kelce from the equation as they need some more production from the wide receiver position.

28. Dallas Cowboys-Charles Harris-Defensive End-Missouri

The Dallas Cowboys were 14th in the NFL last year in total defense, but through injuries and suspensions, they lacked a game changing edge rusher.

 

Desmond King

29. Green Bay Packers-Desmond King-Cornerback-Iowa

With the issues that the Green Bay Packers had in their secondary last season, they could use a tough minded player in the unit who can also contribute on special teams if asked to.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers-Tim Williams-Outside Linebacker-Alabama

Bud Dupree has begun to show flashes as a quality edge rusher for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but this team needs a versatile enforcer for the unit.

31. Atlanta Falcons-Evan engram-Tight End-Ole Miss

As good as the Atlanta Falcons offense is, they still need a tight end who can take some pressure off of wide receiver Julio Jones.

32. New England Patriots- Dan Feeney-Guard-Indiana

The rich get richer as the defending Super Bowl Champions will continue to add depth on the offensive line in front of quarterback Tom Brady.

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