2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Carlos Basham

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Carlos Basham

by April 26, 2021 1 comment

Carlos Basham Jr. is being mocked all over the place, and for good reason. He’s one of the most polarizing players to scout in this draft class. There are some real inconsistencies, paired with some serious flashes of a special player. He was a production machine at Wake Forest, but from the tape, there’s no real knowledge of where Basham is going to be selected in this year’s draft, but he seems to be shaping out to be a day two pick. Some have called him a first-round talent, other shave called him a fifth, let’s see where he grades out here.

Make sure to check out all of our other 2021 NFL Draft Scouting Reports.

Player Bio

Name: Carlos Basham Jr.

Jersey: #9

Position: Defensive End

School: Wake Forest

Class: Redshirt Senior

Height: 6’4″

Weight: 280 lbs

Pass-Rush Ability (8.25/10)

Basham is known more for his pass-rush ability than anything else. He displays a very nice swim move and has tried to incorporate other moves, but not with too much success. He’s too quick to be stood up which leads to him getting beat in the rep. Basham is not very explosive off the line either and really relies on his pass-rush moves to get by. While he did secure over 20 sacks at Wake Forest, he still has a lot to learn in regards to rushing the passer.

Run Defending (7/10)

Basham needs some work in the run game. He can set the edge at times, but not all too well because of his smaller frame. When away from the ball, he shows really good effort in pursuit of the ball carrier. When the play is coming towards him, he seems to lose the ball carrier and is unable to make a play. There was a couple of times specifically in the 2020 game vs. North Carolina State where they just exposed Basham and got multiple big plays off the hole he gave them. The huge thing with Basham, however, is the flashes he shows and there are some really nice plays against the run on the tape. Right now, Basham has a lot of work to do in the run game and it could limit him schematically.

Length (7.5/10)

Basham’s length is average at best. He struggles to keep the tackles a good distance away which ends up losing him the rep. He’s no Wyatt Hubert, but his length certainly hurts him in both pass-rush and the run stop. Obviously, his size isn’t something he can work on, but what he can do better is figure out how to leverage the longer tackles and navigate how to stay away from them. 

Hand Usage (8/10)

As mentioned, Basham has a lot of moves and counters in his bag, but most do not work very well. Still, just to have these moves is a plus as he will continue to develop them in the NFL. His hands aren’t always moving but Basham is pretty close to that narrative being true. As for power, this is where Basham seems to be getting described as most these days: a power rusher. He doesn’t have the power, or size, to be a true power rusher in the league, but he does have good enough power and punch to get lineman on their heels a little bit which leads to winning the rep.

Flexibility/Bend (8/10)

Basham has a decent bend and certainly has the flashes to have a great bend. He does not get low well and often gets dominated when he tries to speed rush. For Basham, it’s really all about getting into a pass-rush move rather than bend past the tackle and dominate that way. His bend isn’t horrible, however, and once again, he shows some solid flashes of what he’s capable of in this area.

Athleticism (8/10)

Basham had a very impressive pro day, but it does not really represent what he brings to the field. He’s still not a bad athlete on the field by any means but the numbers just don’t seem to add up. Basham ran a 4.62 40 yard dash, had a 10’02” broad jump, and ran a 4.32 20-yard shuttle. For a defensive end, these are super impressive numbers. On the field, he tends to play just a little bit slower than this. He’s not great at moving in tight spaces and could almost be defined as slow in this area. He is rather quick out in space and in pursuit, but not 4.62 40 quick. His measurements not matching up with his play just add to the growing list of reasons as to why Basham is a polarizing prospect to watch.

Versatility (8.5/10)

Basham is a very versatile player. He’s moved inside and out on the line and has even shown some willingness in zone drops. He can’t really play inside in the league unless it’s some sort of hybrid special package. He’s at an awkward size where he’s a little too small to play true 4-3 edge rusher, but a little too big to play 3-4 outside linebacker. It will be interesting to see how teams want to utilize Basham’s skillset. 

Football IQ (8.25/10)

Basham has a solid football IQ. He needs to work on feeling out the play against the run a bit better, but that’s the only real concern in this category. He definitely knows the restrictions that his frame places on things like his bend and power, and tends to look for alternate methods of getting to the quarterback, specifically his solid counters. IQ will not be an issue for Basham coming into the league, which is nice because he can focus on things that need a bit more of a touching up.

Competitive Toughness (4.5/5)

A team captain in 2020, Basham just seems to be liked by everyone. He’s relentless in the pursuit game and is always trying to hunt down the ball carriers. His effort is really fun to watch but at times he just starts jogging/walking and it’s a bit disappointing. This issue isn’t very common though and he will keep up his energy in the NFL without a doubt. 

Injury History (5/5)

Basham has shown no real injury concerns besides being dinged up a couple of times.

Player Summary

Well, he certainly is polarizing. Basham is a really hard player to evaluate and it seems you either love his play or you don’t. He’s got relentless effort which you can always appreciate but is a very raw football player. He’ll certainly project as more of a pass-rushing edge threat in the NFL but will need to add more weight to fully fulfill his power game. With the talk of Basham all over the place, it will be really fun to see where he lands. If he lands in a good spot, Basham has the potential to become one of the better defensive ends in the NFL.

Player Grade (73/100): Fourth Round

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