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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: EDGE Carlos Basham Jr

  • The Draft Network
  • December 26, 2020
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Wake Forest defensive end Carlos Basham Jr. takes his game to the next level after racking up splash play after splash play from 2018-2020. In 31 games across that span, Basham Jr. has 33.5 tackles for loss, 19.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles, and a defensive touchdown. At the next level, Basham Jr. projects most favorably as a left defensive end in a 4-3 scheme that situationally gets chances to rush interior gaps. He’s a power style end that is strong at the point of attack, does well to contain, and features a sufficient pass-rushing skill set where his technique and effort leads to pressure on the quarterback. If a team is in search of a burst and bendy pass rusher, that’s not Basham’s game. He wins with power, technique, effort, and angles to get home. For Basham to reach his ceiling at the next level, developing his secondary pass rush moves, trimming weight, adding functional strength, and improving his block recognition skills on run plays will be important. If everything comes together, Basham can be a productive starter for a 4-3 defense. 

Ideal Role: Left defensive end in a 4-3 scheme that gets chances to rush from the interior on long and late downs.

Scheme Fit: 4-3 front.


Written by Joe Marino 

Games watched: Duke (2019), North Carolina (2019), Louisville (2019), Clemson (2019), Utah State (2019), North Carolina (2020), Clemson (2020), NC State (2020)  

Best Game Studied: Duke (2019) 

Worst Game Studied: Clemson (2020) 

First-Step Explosiveness: Basham isn’t an overly explosive or twitchy defender and his wins are more predicated on power and technique. His release is gradual and he doesn’t generate much in the way of vertical push up the arc. There is some heaviness to his feet.

Flexibility: Basham isn’t an overly sudden, twitchy, or flexible athlete. He requires angles to be softened to work his hips around the arc. His change of direction and transition skills can be segmented. He does well to take good angles to the quarterback and not get too far up the field to limit some of his tightness. 

Hand Counters: Basham illustrates a good variety of rush moves including an inside rip, inside swim, bull rush, club/combos, and a spin move. Despite having a sound repertoire of initial rush moves, he has room to grow in terms of getting to his counters and fleshing out his secondary moves. Overall, his blend of power and rush variety is an asset. 

Length: Basham appears to have modest length and for a power rusher, more length would be beneficial. He has challenges clearing his pads once the blocker’s hands are fit and he doesn’t play with consistent extension. Basham would benefit from being more deliberate about winning with first contact to control reps more quickly.

Hand Power: Basham has sufficient power in his hands. With that said, he does leave something to be desired for a power rusher. Becoming more consistent with timing and placement would help accentuate the pop he does have in his hands. 

Run Defending: For the most part, Basham is a gap-sound run defender that understands his run fits. He has good power at the point of attack, which leads to firm edges and the ability to squeeze gaps. There are instances where processing issues show up and he can get reached or pinned by down blocks. 

Effort: Basham plays the game with consistent effort and battles throughout each rep. There appears to be some conditioning issues which leads to less juice on some reps and he could benefit from shedding some sheddable weight from his frame. 

Football IQ: Basham generally does well to read the set of his blocker with an understanding of how to attack the pocket as a pass rusher. For the most part, he respects his contain responsibilities and is a disciplined pass rusher that doesn’t get too far up the field. He does have room to grow in terms of processing run blocking schemes. 

Lateral Mobility: Basham has average lateral mobility and his tightly coiled frame does present some restrictions. His lateral pursuit movement skills can be elongated and he won’t be confused as a smooth operator. With that said, his pursuit effort is generally strong which helps make up for some mobility restrictions. 

Versatility: Basham has some appeal as an inside and outside pass rusher in even front defenses. He can handle shallow zone blitz drops but he isn’t a candidate for regular stand-up duties. Overall, he translates as a 4-3 base end that can rush from the interior on long and late downs. He does have some success rushing from a wide-9 alignment and applies heat with good tilt.  

Prospect Comparison: Jack Crawford (2012 NFL Draft, Oakland Raiders) 


TDN Consensus: 77.63/100

Kyle Crabbs: 80.50/100

Joe Marino: 77.00/100

Jordan Reid: 77.00/100

Drae Harris: 76.00/100

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