There's a good chance the Cowboys are going to draft a pass rusher at some point in the 2017 NFL draft, and perhaps even spend their first-round pick on a defensive end. The Cowboys are doing their due diligence on the pass rushers in this year's draft class, and Taco Charlton is the latest draft prospects to have a visit lined up with the Cowboys.
Former Michigan DE Taco Charlton said he believed he is a Top 15 guy. Has visits set up with Dallas, New... https://t.co/qrKhoViEqz— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) March 24, 2017
If available, you’d have to imagine that there won’t be many better options than Charlton at 28th overall. I have my doubts as to whether or not he’ll be there though because productive, athletic defensive ends with his size, length and frame usually don’t last too long come April. He doesn’t have the ideal bend, explosiveness, or pure speed off the edge that I’m sure the Cowboys would love to add to a defensive end group that has plenty of size and not quite enough speed, but Charlton looks like a ready-made three down player who can impact both the run game, as well as rush the passer. Assuming he has the requisite work ethic and desire for the game, the sky could be the limit for a player with his tools under a coach the caliber of Rod Marinelli.
In addition to Charlton, the Cowboys have also invited fellow defensive ends Takkarist McKinley and Jeremiah Ledbetter to Dallas for a pre-draft visit.
Every year prior to the draft, each NFL team is permitted to invite up to 30 national draft prospects for a pre-draft visit. These visits do not involve any workouts, they are strictly meet and greets where the team can get a better feel for the players and the medical staff can conduct more thorough medical checkups.
As we've seen in the past, these visits are usually pretty good indicators of which players and which positions the Cowboys were going to select in the ensuing draft, though it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Cowboys are interested in a pass rusher this year. There's a good chance the Cowboys will check out any pass rusher with a pulse over the next few weeks.
But the official visits aren't the only way for the Cowboys to continue evaluating this year's draft prospects. While they're only allowed to bring 30 national prospects to Dallas, there's nothing preventing them from visiting the prospects somewhere else, and even having private workouts with the prospects. And at least two of those private workouts have already been scheduled:
Oklahoma State cornerback Lenzy Pipkins invited to Dallas Cowboys' local workout day— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 23, 2017
TE Adam Shaheen has a private workout set up with the Dallas Cowboys. https://t.co/g9GG8lzN53— One Cool Customer (@OCC44) March 22, 2017
We're still a few weeks away from when the official visits will happen, and over that time, the names of more Cowboys pre-draft visitors will likely emerge, along with the names of more prospects the Cowboys will have private workouts with - even if the Cowboys don't officially announce the names of their visitors or who they're scheduling workouts with. We'll try to keep you updated on all of them.