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Taco Charlton over/under: Seven sacks on the 2018 season

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How many sacks will the 2017 first-round pick get in 2018?

NFL: Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

No one is going to argue that Taco Charlton’s first season with the Dallas Cowboys was a roaring success. In fact, you have to stretch a bit just to make the case that the 2017 first-round pick had a satisfactory season. Charlton didn’t start any games and only played on 38% of the defensive snaps for the year. His stats were equally underwhelming with 19 tackles, three sacks and 11 QB pressures. For a first-round pick, that’s not exactly a breakthrough season.

On the other hand, Charlton’s season was marked by an incredibly slow start that lasted for three-quarters of the season but then his play started to take off. Over the last five games he picked up two more sacks and eight of his 11 pressures occurred in the last month. Pass rushers often struggle during their first season in the NFL, but the finish to Charlton’s season provided a glimpse of what he could become.

Charlton believes that he’s ready to make the leap in 2018.

“Going into Year 2, I’m stronger. I can hold my weight more. I’m faster. I’m more knowledgeable about the game, studying more moves and working a lot more moves. I’m ready to go and ready to prove what I can do in Year 2.”

It’s been noted that DeMarcus Lawrence has taken Charlton under his wing. He’s spending a lot of time tutoring Taco on the art of the pass rush. Lawrence is a good model for Charlton, not only on the field but in statistical trajectory. After recovering from injury in his rookie season, Lawrence played half that year and didn’t record a single sack. The next year he picked up eight. The situations aren’t exactly alike, but they do show how a pass rusher can improve after getting some experience under his belt.

Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli has noticed improvement.

“He’s moving a little bit better right now,” defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said. “He’s in better shape, that’s for sure. I think everything will start to come. I know the more reps you keep doing and doing and doing, you’re going to get better.

”He’s out here every day, doesn’t miss anything, and he works at it.”

Charlton is still likely to be stuck behind Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford at defensive end to start the year. He’ll have to fight guys like Kony Ealy, Chales Tapper, Dorance Armstrong and possibly Randy Gregory for reps during practice, and battle some of those guys for playing time during the year.

As noted, Charlton came on strong for the final five games at the end of 2017. Our old friend K.D. Drummond suggested this about what Charlton could accomplish in 2018:

[Charlton’s] pass-rush productivity for those final five games was 10.6 over exactly 100 pass-rush snaps. If he can get 350 pass-rush snaps (just 120 more than his total from 2017) on the season at the pace of his final five games, with no accounting for technique refinement and knowledge increase, he projects to having a seven-sack, 14-hit, 24.5-hurry campaign.

Let’s set the over/under on sacks for Taco Charlton in the 2018 season at seven. That’s a pretty good number, it would have placed him second on the team last season, tied with David Irving (although Irving did that in just eight games). 46 players had seven sacks or more last year in the NFL. So what do you say BTB, will he go over, under, or right on that number?

Poll

Will Taco Charlton go over, under or right on seven sacks in 2017.

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    Over
    (655 votes)
  • 35%
    Under
    (595 votes)
  • 25%
    Exactly seven
    (420 votes)
1670 votes total Vote Now