Since the NFL Draft and NFL Draft news are year-round events now, it’s never too early to start taking a look at the draft prospects in the upcoming class, even before the college football season kicks off. Pro Football Magazine scouts prospects all year long, and we’ll be posting some of our prospect profiles for the 2021 NFL Draft class. In our first scouting profile, we’ll be taking a look at Wake Forest defensive end Carlos Basham Jr.
Carlos Basham Jr. is a redshirt senior pass rusher from Wake Forest. He measures at a big frame of 6’5″, 275 lbs. Entering the 2020 college football season, he has racked up 145 tackles, 14.5 sacks, and 31 tackles for loss. Carlos is widely viewed as a premier pass rusher coming into the 2021 NFL Draft and will look to have a big senior season.
Basham rarely wins with pure speed because of his bigger frame as a pass rusher. Usually relies on counters and technicality more-so than speed. Although, he does show flashes of being able to win with speed on the inside of blocks.
A very strong and aggressive tackler behind the line of scrimmage. His long arms allow him to stay patient in his reads and make the tackle at the correct time. Occasionally will miss tackles because of a reliance on those long arms, but it doesn’t happen often.
Going with the speed, Carlos Basham is not much a bendy edge rusher. He uses good technique and power more than bend because of the way he is built.
With 14.5 sacks over the previous two seasons, Carlos has proven he is one of the best pass rushers in the nation coming into the 2020 college football season. He has shown consistent ability to win in pass-rush situations with technique and power. He has advanced techniques when it comes to winning towards the inside shoulder of his blocker. He will often set up to the outside and counter to the inside, or just simply use a swim move off the point of attack to get past his blocker and into the backfield. An exciting portion of his pass rush skill is the flashes of quickness he had in the Duke game. He showed a real ability to with quickness and burst, rather than power.
I would categorize Basham as an elite run defender with what he showed on tape in the 2019 season. He stays very patient when latching onto blocks while diagnosing the run play. He can also consistently fight off those blocks to meet the runner in the gap and make the play. He also leverages blocks and maintains balance very well to be able to adjust to a runner in the backfield. He does this because he doesn’t have the necessary speed to be able to keep up with shifty backs so he has to stay light on his feet and maintain balance to make the play.
He has great strength when it comes to both the run game and pass rush. One of his best traits throughout his career so far is his power to fight through blocks in order to make plays behind the line of scrimmage.
Pass Rush Moves
Carlos’ pass rush moves seemed to evolve throughout the year in 2019. Starting the year, he seemed to rely heavily on stunts and counters to the inside. But, as the year went along, he started to develop more quickness and burst in his pass-rushing ability. This transformed his profile as a prospect for me and if he can continue to work with that quickness and burst, combined with his pre-existing ability… he can be a very high pick in the 2021 NFL draft.
Another great trait of his to be able to use his hands as leverage on blockers in the run game to stay engaged in the play and ready to break off those blocks in order to make a stop.
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)