How would he fit the Chiefs scheme and roster?
Taco Charlton enters a crowded, but mostly unproven defensive end room in Kansas City. Outside of Frank Clark, there’s not a designated sure starter on the roster. Alex Okafor is coming back from injury after a season in which he failed to meet expectations. Tanoh Kpassagnon had his breakout season after rarely seeing the field in his first two years but is not a guaranteed starter. Breeland Speaks missed the entire season on Injured Reserve, and the questions surrounding him have only grown since his rookie year.
Behind those players, the Chiefs have Demone Harris, Tim Ward, and 2020 fifth-round pick Mike Danna out of Michigan. Beyond Clark, the defensive end group is filled with unproven talent and rotational players. With that being said, Charlton has a good chance of making the final roster cuts if he shows enough in camp.
From a size, power, and athletic profile, Charlton fits what Spagnuolo covets in a defensive end. Spagnuolo also demands his defensive ends be useful against the run. Merely being a pass rusher, no matter how good, will not cut it on his defensive line. However, Charlton will have to be more consistent with his pass rush if he wants starting reps in this defense.
Charlton fits with several of the defensive ends on the Chiefs roster that cannot win consistently without help. Kpassagnon and Emmanuel Ogbah fit that mold as well in 2019. Fortunately, coming from a New England Patriots coaching staff in Miami, Charlton had plenty of experience executing stunts/twists.
Spagnuolo and Daly have already shown the ability to get the most out of the rotational talent that struggled to win previously. Tanoh Kpassagnon struggled even to see playing time his first two years under former defensive coordinator Bob Sutton. Ogbah struggled to meet his expectations in Cleveland, which led to his trade to Kansas City for a safety that wasn’t going to make the roster anyway. Both of those players went on to find some success in 2019 under this coaching staff.
Given the leadership and accountability from not only the coaching staff but the players like Frank Clark and Tyrann Mathieu, there’s no reason Charlton shouldn’t find success in 2020. With the lack of sure starting talent opposite of Frank Clark and little proven talent beyond Clark, Charlton will only see himself off of the roster if he shows that he’s unwilling to put in the work.