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2021 NFL Draft Profile: Carlos Basham Jr., EDGE, Wake Forest

Background

Basham Jr. is one of the most athletic players in the 2021 NFL Draft. The former Demon Deacon stands at 6’3 and weighs 281 pounds. That is not the typical build of an edge rusher in today’s NFL. However, Basham Jr. could be an excellent pick for a team with a defensive scheme that utilizes his abilities.

The senior defensive end had a stellar career and, while the 2020 season was shortened, he still had a handful of great games that scouts will look at. During his career at Wake Forest, Basham Jr. totaled 173 total tackles, 20.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and eight passes defended.

His senior year wasn’t nearly as dominant as others were, but that is most likely caused by the weird college football season. Basham Jr. was selected All-ACC First-Team in 2019, and All-ACC Third-Team in 2020. Unfortunately for Basham Jr., had he opted to enter last year’s draft, he would have most likely been a lock for a top-15 pick. However, he is still a player with an incredibly high ceiling.

Carlos Basham Jr. Draft Profile

Height: 6’3 3/8″ | Weight: 281 lbs

Wing Span: 81 1/8″

Hand Size: 9 1/8″

Projected 40 Time: 4.65

Awards: First Team All-ACC (2019), Third Team All-ACC (2020), Arnold Palmer Award Winner (2019-2020)

Pros

  1. Explosiveness: Basham Jr. is incredibly athletic, so it’s no surprise that he’s explosive in pass rushing and off-the ball.
  2. EDGE Moves: Basham Jr. has nearly perfected his spin move, which will be devastating to immobile offensive lineman. On top of that as he progressed through college, his outside rip move had more success than not.
  3. Scheme Fit: Basham Jr. can play in both a 3-4 and 4-3 scheme. In the 3-4 scheme, he will be an outside backer type of edge rusher, so he will have to improve his coverage a bit. A 4-3 scheme is perfect for Basham Jr. He can play at the left end, and even be moved inside on 2nd and 3rd and long situations.
  4. High Ceiling: For a player like Basham Jr. it often comes down to how low his basement is compared to his ceiling. He could be drafted into a 4-3 scheme with an established rusher on the right side, and project into a Joey Bosa type speed rusher. Also to note, is that his basement is not incredibly low. He has the athleticism to always make plays while rushing.

Cons

  1. Not A Complete Product: The 6’5 edge rusher from Wake Forest is in no way a complete product quite yet. He needs to refine his pass rush moves, and learn to play inside. Also if he’s drafted into a 3-4 scheme, he will have to work very hard to get better in coverage.
  2. Disappears At Times: There have been multiple games over his career where Basham will go three quarters straight without even making a tackle. However, if he does get in the zone, he’s dominant, you just have to get him into the zone.
  3. No Combine: This really, really hurts a player like Basham Jr. Without the 2021 NFL Combine, he won’t get to show off his athleticism and speed. Unfortunately for him, his stock is pretty much stuck where it is, unless it falls.

Player Comparison: Cam Jordan

Both Jordan and Basham Jr. have a similar build and they are both quick off the ball. Basham Jr., like Jordan, is actually fast, which is surprising because of their thick bodies. Jordan was a steal for the Saints who grabbed him late in the first round. The same thing is very possible for Basham Jr.

Draft Projection: Late 1st Round

Film to Watch: Wake Forest vs (19) Virginia Tech

This game was one of the best in Basham Jr.’s career. He totaled 9 tackles, had a sack, and was dominant all game long.

Wake Forest vs (19) Virginia Tech Condensed Game

Up Next: 3/4/21 – Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

3/5/21 – Shane Buechele, QB, SMU

3/6/21 – Tarron Jackson, EDGE/DL, Coastal Carolina

3/8/21 – Brady Christensen, OT, BYU

Follow Me on Twitter: @BrownlojCLE

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