The Kansas City Chiefs signed a one-year deal with former first round draft pick Taco Charlton in hopes of unearthing a gem.
The Kansas City Chiefs bolstered their offseason depth and enhanced the competition along the defensive front on Friday when they came to an agreement on a one-year contract with defensive end Taco Charlton.
Charlton cleared waivers earlier in the day on Friday after he was released by the Miami Dolphins when it was clear he was no longer in the team’s plans going forward with one year left on his original rookie contract. It was the second time that Charlton had been released before his rookie deal was completed given that his original team, the Dallas Cowboys, cut him after only two seasons.
While it’s not uncommon for a rookie to be released after only a couple years, it is rare when that player is a first round pick. Charlton was the No. 28 overall selection by Dallas in the 2017 NFL Draft. As a defensive end out of Michigan, Charlton was known for his incredible length (he stands 6’6), strength, strong build, and hand usage. He has a decent array of moves and he’s surprisingly athletic for a player of his size and stature.
That said, Charlton comes with a reputation of having attitude problems wherever he goes, and injuries have inhibited his development at the pro level. There’s also the inconsistent production to date (only 9 total career sacks over three years). Even worse, two teams have now left him as a healthy scratch during games before ultimately cutting their losses—the most telling stat of all.
However, the Chiefs are adding a former first round pick who has yet to put it all together who is still only 25 years of age. Charlton played college football in the trenches with current Chiefs cornerstone Frank Clark and the team’s coaching staff is a veteran one who just won the Super Bowl. Late development is nothing new for a team that finally coaxed a Pro Bowl year out of Dee Ford and is getting Tanoh Kpassagnon to turn the corner.
General manager Brett Veach has a penchant for going after low-risk, high-ceiling players from the clearance bin. He swapped a sixth round pick for linebacker Darron Lee. He traded a fourth round pick to the Buffalo Bills for a couple years of Reggie Ragland. He threw another Day 3 pick to the Cleveland Browns for a few years of Cam Erving‘s versatility along the offensive line.
Charlton did put up a career high in sacks last season (5) and forced fumbles (2) in only 10 games with Miami.