The Dallas Cowboys selected defensive end Taco Charlton in the 2017 NFL Draft with the 28th pick to help bolster the defensive line. At the time of the selection, many experts and fans were a bit surprised because of the need in the secondary and the way other defensive linemen were flying off the board. Taco Charlton was considered a raw but talented prospect coming out of Michigan who needed a couple years to fully develop into an every-down player.

The need at cornerback and safety in that draft was well needed considering how the Cowboys released four starters who played significant snaps during the 2016 season.

The Cowboys felt they could select Taco Charlton and still get starters in the second and third rounds, in which they selected cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis. The Cowboys knew he needed some coaching but what college prospect coming to the NFL doesn't?

After the upsetting playoff loss in 2016 against the Green Bay Packers, everyone knew the Cowboys needed to address the defensive line position. Year after year, the Cowboys pass rush never could get to Aaron Rodgers and affect him in the pocket, so the Cowboys took a shot at drafting Taco Charlton to add talent on the line.

The good and the bad

Taco Charlton had a decent first year as a rookie rotational player on the defensive line.

No one would have guessed runner up defensive player of the year Demarcus Lawrence, would put up the dominant season he had in 2017, 247 Sports noted. The way Lawrence played, Charlton didn't see as many snaps that we hoped to see him get, but we all know you do not take a player off the field who puts up 14.5 sacks in a season.

Bob Sturm of the Athletic DFW posted a tweet about his examination of Charlton's rookie season and what he thought about him.

Taco Charlton early on had growing pains as he was getting washed out of plays, taking bad angles, and not trusting his technique. Like many rookie linemen, it usually takes them a season or two to get acclimated to the position and make an impact.

Charlton learned early in training camp, just because you are a first round pick, no one will give you a pass for anything you do.

As the season went on, the continuous coaching tips from defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, Taco Charlton began to find his groove as a pass rusher. He started to trust his technique, have better pass rush moves, and overall his confidence began to grow. Fans even saw glimpses of his sack celebration where he sprinkles cheese onto his tacos and feeds them to his teammates, which is actually quite unique and I think really cool.

Taco also became the sponsor for the Taco Bueno, a well-known Mexican restaurant, which is a great thing is he doesn't have to worry about going without tacos for a while.

Taco finished his rookie season in limited snaps with 19 total tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble. While those aren't alarming numbers, his play towards the end of the season gives you hope he can continue to develop into a complete player heading into his second season.

What to look forward to in 2018

The 2018 season will be huge for Taco Charlton as he continues to work and build on his rookie campaign. This offseason during organized team activities, he has looked much stronger as he has put on more muscle to his already large frame and he looks great. That is one positive I can tell by seeing him as he went through drills in OTA's this past week.

Charlton knows what he needs to improve and work on when he goes through these drills and practices.

He has to maintain a positive attitude even when he makes a mistake. A lot of times when he didn't get to the quarterback quick enough or missed a tackle he would get frustrated and it affected him the next play. That possibly happened because he kept thinking about the previous play instead of focusing on the next play which can hurt your confidence, but he is a young player and will be fine.

I am actually excited for Charlton this season. He will go through his second full offseason program where he is getting the best conditioning and training to be ready for the season. He still has his mentor in Rod Marinelli who will teach him everything he needs to be successful, so the opportunities are right in front of Taco as he continues to develop. Everyone get your lettuce, tomatoes, and sauce ready because we are going to feast on some tacos this season.