|Taco Charlton and Mario Ojemudia|
Weight: 275 lbs.
High school: Pickerington (OH) Central
Position: Defensive end
Jersey number: #33
Last year: I ranked Charlton #46 and said he would be a backup weakside end. He played in ten games and made 2 tackles with .5 tackles for loss.
Charlton was a bit player last season when Michigan had pretty solid depth at weakside end. He found himself behind Frank Clark - a second team all-conference player - and an experienced backup in Mario Ojemudia. The big question mark about Charlton has always been his technical refinement, but his athleticism is enough to make up for some of his deficiencies. This spring he moved to strongside end, which is more fitting of a guy who's 6'6" and 275 lbs.
Unfortunately for Charlton, he's still behind senior Brennen Beyer, who moved from the weak side to the strong side late last year. Michigan's move to the 4-3 Over means the strongside end is more of an edge guy than an end/tackle hybrid, and that fits Michigan's defensive end personnel, which consists of a bunch of semi-proven weakside ends and a handful of (unproven) end/tackle hybrids. Consequently, the Wolverines' top four defensive ends are all current or former weakside guys. Charlton should get plenty of run as a second-stringer this year; he has a higher upside than Beyer, but the coaching staff is partial to seniors, so the younger man's superiority must be blatantly obvious before he can supplant Beyer.
Prediction: Backup strongside end; 20 tackles, 2 sacks