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2017 NFL Draft Grades: "Taco Charlton In Dallas Is Too Good To Be True."

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A review of the draft grades the Cowboys have received so far for their first-round pick.

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Grading a draft a mere hours after after the last pick is generally frowned on by the more hardcore football fan who knows that drafts can't really be graded until three to four years after the fact. But like the site of an accident, many people also find it hard not to look once such a grade is published.

If the review is good, you cling to it and hope that it will carry over onto the field when the season starts. If it is bad, you can simply shrug it off and say it doesn't matter anyway and that post-draft grades are for the feeble-minded.

Regardless, what the grades do - to some extent - is they capture the media reaction about a draft immediately after it is over. The fan reaction is easier to capture: If the Cowboys drafted Staubach, Lilly, Jordan, Wright, and Renfro all in one draft, fans would still crucify them. Such is the nature of Cowboys fans

In this post, we'll look at seven writers who have submitted their grades for the Cowboys already, most of which are "A" grades:

FOX Sports really likes the pick and gave it an A+:

Taco in Dallas is too good to be true. He could be the transformational pass rusher the Cowboys need on that side of the ball. Huge need filled by arguably the second-best player at that position.

Sports Illustrated gave the pick an A-:

The hype on Charlton peaked around pick No. 9 (Cincinnati). This is a far more appropriate range for him, considering that he has shown flashes of brilliance but is still very much a work in progress. And if that’s your scouting report as a defensive lineman, there are few coaches better to help mold your development than Dallas defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. While Charlton is steady enough against the run that he can be trusted on early downs, Marinelli figures to unleash him most often bending the edge vs. the pass. This fills a need for Dallas, and at a good value.

Walter Football also gave the pick an A-:

One team told us early in the draft process that they regarded Taco Charlton as a top-10 prospect. That changed a bit throughout the spring, but Charlton still provides solid value at No. 28 overall. Charlton is a long, athletic player. The concern is that he's a 1-year wonder, but he's very talented and could potentially solve Dallas' pass-rushing woes. I had Charlton going at No. 21, so the Cowboys did well by being patient and taking one of the better players remaining on the board. another A-:

The skinny: Dallas had a choice between Charlton and T.J. Watt. Either could have fit their bill, and the need was certainly there. I had Watt with a higher grade, but Charlton's length and agility are impressive. He'll be a very good player for Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett.

The Ringer gave the pick an A- for value and a B+ for fit

At 6-foot-6 and 277 pounds with 34-plus-inch arms, Charlton possesses ideal size and length — but he hasn’t put it all together as a pass rusher. He can be inconsistent at times, and he failed to impress at the combine, clocking in at 4.92 seconds in the 40. That time doesn’t paint an accurate picture of who he is, though: He has a quick first step, displays powerful hands, and shows flashes of an intriguing spin move that could develop into his signature at the next level. Dallas defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli has a history of getting the most out of his defensive linemen; Charlton could contribute early for a Cowboys team bereft of edge rushers.

NESN with yet another A-:

The Cowboys really struggled to rush the passer last season, and Charlton will help draw double teams that will allow other Dallas pass rushers to have an easier route to the opposing quarterback.

CBS Sports breaks up the Cowboys love fest with a B-:

They need help up front, but this kid flashed at times and did little else.

ESPN says:

What He Brings

Charlton makes up for what he lacks in suddenness and top-end speed with his length, size and power. He's an effective edge setter against the run, plus he uses his length, hands and flexibility to beat offensive tackles rushing the passer.

How He Fits

With Randy Gregory suspended for the 2017 season, Demarcus Lawrence coming off back surgery and 2016 fourth-round pick Charles Tapper missing his rookie season with a back injury, Dallas needed to add a defensive end. Charlton has the talent to make an immediate contribution, and look for defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli to get the most out of him.

Now that you've had a night to sleep over it, how do you feel about the pick?


Here's how the Cowboys' grades compare to the rest of the NFC East.

NFC East Draft Grades 2017
Cowboys Eagles Giants Redskins
Fox Sports A+ B- D- A
Sports Illustrated A- B A- A
Walter Football A- B C+ A+ A- A A- A
The Ringer A-/B+ B-/B+ A+/B- A/A+
CBS Sports B- A B A