NAME: Carlos Basham Jr.
POSITION: Defensive End
SCHOOL: Wake Forest
WEIGHT: 285 pounds
Carlos Basham Jr. has been around ACC country throughout his entire life. He was born in Roanoke, Virginia, where he attended Northside High School. While finishing up his career there, Basham Jr. recorded a total of 76 tackles and seven sacks as a senior. Overall, there was not a great deal of interest in the defensive end when pursuing a school to play college football at.
He would eventually commit to Wake Forest University as a three star recruit. After redshirting during his first season, Basham Jr. would go on to play in 11 games for the Demon Deacons in 2017. He decided to return to Wake Forest for his senior season in 2020. This came off of two dominating seasons that included 29 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks across 2018 and 2019. Additionally, he was named First team All-ACC in 2019 and Third team All-ACC in 2020. Basham Jr. elected to not play in this winter’s bowl game after declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft. His cousin, Tarell Basham, plays for the New York Jets.
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Pass Rush Ability
Basham Jr. does a good job of affecting the quarterback in multiple ways. He has sneaky lateral mobility and quickness. Wake Forest allowed him to line up from multiple angles and positions. This allowed him to show off his quick get off and first step explosiveness. Not only can he win from multiple angles, Basham Jr. is well equipped to apply pressure. His red hot motor and good tilt mix together to form a variety in his pass rush attempts. Furthermore, Basham Jr. understands his rush lanes. If he needs to stay wide, there is a realization to force the quarterback to step up into possibly more pressure. On the other hand, the defensive end does a fine job of staying tight to the line of scrimmage in tighter alignments, rather than getting too far up field.
Generally, Basham Jr. is well versed and sufficient with his counter moves to break down opposing offensive linemen. His best move is his rip move, with a quick knack of knowing when to hit a swift inside step. However, Basham Jr. has also had an abundant amount of success with a swim move and spin move. Don’t be surprised to see him win with a bull rush either. This seems to be forgotten or less noticed because of how some blockers can overpower him at times. Though, this is a big plus to see his array of counter moves so far, given his thicker and larger frame at the position.
Diagnosing and reading is a very evident positive of Basham Jr.’s game. You see him play a disciplined style when having to read run plays off of read option. He may not have the speed. But, his quick reads and realization of running backs running routes out of the backfield on his side of the formation helps to alert teammates. By realizing his run fits or gap assignments quickly and efficiently, Basham Jr. is able to keep plays in front of him or inside of him by setting the edge. His instincts and read and react ability may not always lead to perfect tackles. Nonetheless, Basham Jr. does a good job of setting himself up in a good position to make plays.
Basham Jr. lacks the athletic ability that oozes out from other EDGE defenders in the 2021 class. He just can not bend and dip around the corner quite as easily or smoothly as others. To boot, he does not have a clear sense of explosiveness. Most tackles are best for Basham Jr. if he topples opponents or pulls them down to his side with a twist. The lateral mobility and sneaky short area quickness is there. Yet, Basham Jr. is just not very sudden or twitchy when pursuing downhill from the defensive end position.
It is important to be clear here, given that we praised the Wake Forest pass rusher for his counter moves. This is much different, as Basham Jr. has had trouble disengaging from some blocks. Powerful blockers that know how to use their lower half have been able to blow him back. The hand pop just is not seen enough from Basham Jr. When he can find his pass rush counter moves or quick transitions, everything is just fine. Although, there is hope that there will be a greater sense to battle with hand to hand combat at the next level.
Too often, especially in run defense attempts, Basham Jr. plays a bit too tall. Going back to powerful blockers, they are able to get under his shoulders and take away his lengthy arms. Where this seems to show up more, is when Basham Jr. is lined up in tighter alignments. With both hands in the dirt, coming from a wider angle there is a greater sense of tilt and leverage being used. Nevertheless, this will need to be addressed early on and right when the ball is snapped.
Carlos Basham Jr. would give the Kansas City Chiefs a high energy player at defensive end. Having the prowess as a run defender could allow for early down reps. His pass rush ability would fit in a defense like Steve Spagnuolo‘s. For one, his ability to set the edge and greater understanding of rush lanes reminds me a little bit of glimpses we have seen from 2020 rookie Mike Danna. Also, having the instincts, field awareness and setting up offensive linemen for missteps could allow him for movement along the defensive line. Basham Jr. would be a great addition for a team like the Chiefs also because of his ability to live in the backfield. He may not always rack up sacks. But more importantly, Basham Jr. creates so many negative plays for the opposing offense.
Be on the lookout for more FPC Chiefs draft prospect profiles throughout the winter and spring. For more great sports and NFL content, stay tuned to Full Press Coverage.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.