It’s not every day that a 25-year-old former first-round draft pick hits the free agent market.
The Kansas City Chiefs, with a similar thought process, made the surprise acquisition of Dallas Cowboys’ 2017 first-round pick Taco Charlton earlier this week. The 6-foot-6-inch, 270-pound defensive lineman was signed to a 1-year deal following his release from the Miami Dolphins on April 30.
Despite a career-best 5.0 sacks in 10 games for Brian Flores’ club last season, “the writing was on the wall” after Charlton was a healthy inactive for three of Miami’s final four games. The former Michigan Wolverine has not yet lived up to the expectations that came along with being a No. 28 overall pick in 2017, with personality concerns rising to the surface in both of his previous two stops.
Taco Comes From Family Roots
While many will be watching closely to see if Kansas City’s reclamation project will be a success in 2020, one important question remains: how did the new Chiefs defender get the name Taco?
According to Taco himself, it was his mother and grandmother who made the decision before he was even born.
“Taco was a premature baby, so I was on bed rest the complete time,” his mother, Tamara, told ESPN’s Todd Archer in 2017. “It was during the era when Taco Bell had the commercial ‘Rushing for the Border.’ My mom said, ‘He’s rushing for the border trying to get out.’ And she just started calling him ‘Taco,’ so on my card she would write, ‘Just hang in there. It’s for Taco.’ Before he was even out, his name was Taco, and it always stuck with him.”
Say Vidautae Five Times Fast
Charlton’s new coaches, much like his childhood teachers, will be thankful their new defensive chess piece took on the name he did. His given name, Vidautae, didn’t quite catch on.
“His teachers, once they realized they would butcher his name, ‘Oh, (it’s) Taco? Great,’” said Tamara. “His first check, he worked for Abercrombie, it came in Taco Charlton. His W-2s, all his scholarship letters were Taco Charlton. I think if you actually called his name out in the mall he probably wouldn’t answer you because he’s used to being called Taco.”
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