2021 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Edge Carlos Basham Jr, Wake Forest

Wake Forest edge rusher Carlos Basham offers intriguing value as a Day 2 pick. How well does his strengths match up with the Giants offense?
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Height: 6'5"
Weight: 275 lbs.
Class: Senior (redshirt)
School: Wake Forest

A former 3-star recruit out of Northside High School in Roanoke, Virginia, Basham has a knack for getting into the backfield and forcing tackles for loss.

He had the longest active streak in the country with 23 straight games with a tackle for a loss, and he had a sack in his first five games of 2020 (Wake Forest only played 6). He finished his career with 19.5 sacks, 35.5 tackles for a loss, and 173 tackles, along with 8 passes defensed and seven forced fumbles.

In 2019, Basham Jr. had ten sacks and 18 tackles for a loss. This landed him on a lot of Watch Lists heading into 2020; he was on the Chuck Bednarik, Lott Impact Trophy, Bronko Nagurski Watch Lists, and the CLASS Award Candidate List. He was named on the 2nd Team All-ACC by Phil Steele and won first-team All-ACC honors in 2019.


Basham's nickname is "Boogie," a moniker he got as a child because he liked to dance.


Basham Jr. is a long, thick athlete who lines up most times at 5-Technique or wider but will kick inside to 3-Technique in obvious passing situations. He has a good burst off the line of scrimmage, good lateral agility in confined spaces, and solid foot quickness up the arc. 


He’s a solid overall athlete with adequate change of direction skills in space. It can be a bit stiff in space. He isn’t overly flexible in his lower half for an EDGE rusher; he doesn’t have great twitch. He does play with great contact balance at the top of the arc that does allow him to corner.

He made a living getting to the quarterback in college; in his last 2.5 seasons with Wake Forest, he recorded 9 of his sacks and 51 pressures on third down. The 51 pressures made up 41% of his pressures in those 2.5 years. 

Basham Jr. has good pass-rushing moves with his hands, but his favorite movie is the swim. He also has an exceptional inside spin move that he sets up well.

He’ll incorporate double swipes with hard lateral steps as well. He does a good job making initial contact, playing with a low center of gravity, and getting to the half-man where he can use the swim to his advantage.

Utilizes the bull-rush, club, and spin moves. His production dips in the second half, which could be a product of fatigue. However, he does a great job stringing pass-rushing moves together when his first move fails - does a good job adjusting plan mid-rep.

A solid run-defender who plays with gap discipline and knows when to restrict the rushing lanes and either spill or box. Could do a better job anchoring his position when in a 4i-Technique or lower.

Was a bit hit or miss with setting the edge, and there’s room for improvement in that area. He does an acceptable job wrapping ball carriers up and finishing running back tackles with physicality.

Plays with good mental processing, competitive toughness, and play strength. He’s high effort, and he wins at the point of attack with strength, which may not happen as frequently at the NFL level.

Basham Jr. is a high effort player who has room to grow but should still be selected in the Top 60 selections in the 2021 NFL Draft.

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