Carlos Basham could emerge as a top edge player in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Finding talent off the edge in the 2021 NFL Draft class has been tough in the early portion of scouting for next year.
With that being said, further study of the 2019 Wake Forest Demon Deacons has yielded impressive results, not only for some of their 2020 prospects (hello Justin Strnad, Essang Bassey) but for 2021 NFL Draft prospect Carlos Basham, who could very well wind up as a top 10 player in the 2021 class.
Basham’s productivity has increased in each of his first three seasons at Wake Forest, but you could call his junior season a ‘breakout’ of sorts as he set career marks with 18 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, three passes broken up, and three forced fumbles.
Basham was outstanding last year for Wake Forest and expectations for him in his senior season are very high, and for good reason.
Basham listed among top freaks in college football
Every year, Bruce Feldman releases a list of the top 50 athletic freaks in college football, which highlights some of the strongest, fastest, most athletic players in the NCAA.
Basham was listed 2nd on his 2020 list (subscription required).
Among the things Feldman notes about Basham’s plethora of athletic gifts are his ability to bench press more than 400 pounds, squat more than 700 pounds, and jump 36 inches.
After hearing about that kind of athletic talent, you turn on the tape with Basham to see how it translates. Listed at 6-foot-5, 275 pounds, Basham is already built like a powerful NFL defensive end, but you can definitely see his strength, explosiveness, and speed come across on tape.
Basham is a violent hitter who is patient to read plays. He has very good length off the edge and uses that length to keep offensive linemen from really even getting hands on him when he doesn’t want them to.
There’s no better example of that than Basham’s reps against Mekhi Becton (Louisville) in the clips above where Becton, one of the longest and strongest and most athletic offensive tackles in all of college football last year.
Basham is entering his fourth season for Wake Forest and his third season as a starter. There will be times where he looks like an NFL player among boys out there mainly because he probably is. He could have entered the 2020 NFL Draft and been picked somewhere in the top 50, and if he had a strong Combine performance, probably in the first round.
With the hype surrounding him now, Basham has a chance to prove — provided there’s some college football in the fall — that he belongs not only in the first round conversation but potentially the top 10 conversation for the 2021 NFL Draft.