Career Recap: It took some time for Carlos "Boogie" Basham to break out for Wake Forest. He redshirted in 2016 and was a backup in 2017. As a redshirt sophomore, Basham worked his way onto the field and showed some solid run defense skills, notching 64 tackles to go with 4.5 sacks. As a junior, he had a big year, showing serious improvement as a pass rusher. He totaled 11 sacks three forced fumbles, three passes batted and 57 tackles for 2019. Basham could have entered the 2020 NFL Draft, but he decided to return for his senior year.
2020 Season Outlook: Basham has a pretty easy schedule in 2020. He has some easy opponents to open the season before playing Notre Dame in late September. The Fighting Irish could have a few draft picks on their offensive line, including left tackle Liam Eichenberg. In conference play, Basham could see some quality tackles while taking on Miami, Clemson, and Boston College.
Skill-Set Summary: Defensive end is one of the premium positions in the NFL, and many coaches feel it is the most important position on the defense. NFL teams are always in need of edge-rushing talent, so there should be plenty of teams hoping to land Basham in the 2021 NFL Draft after his breakout junior year. Basham already has an NFL build with the size, strength, quickness and athleticism to become a solid three-down starter.
Basham was a steady presence in Wake Forest's pass rush in 2019, coming through with some clutch rushes. While Basham has a big and strong frame, he is faster than one would expect from the eyeball test. He fires off the ball, showing a good get-off and the first-step quickness to get upfield. He also has active hands to fight off blockers, utliziaing a repertoire of moves, including a rip and a spin, to go along with bull rushes and cuts to the inside. Basham possesses nice vision to keep his eyes on the quarterback while using his hands and feet at the same time to work off blocks. When Basham gets free, he shows a burst to close with impressive pursuit skills for a big defensive end. Basham looks like he really figured things out as a junior, so he could be even better as a senior.
In the ground game, Basham is gap sound and strong at the point of attack. He can stand up offensive linemen and hold his ground when runs come downhill at him. With his surprising burst to close, Basham does a nice job of flowing down the line to make tackles after shedding blocks. He is a well-balanced defender who should be an asset in the ground game as a pro.
It would help Basham to put together another good year of sack production in 2020 to show that his junior year wasn't a fluke. Continuing to refine and master his moves will help his draft stock. He also could work on running more hoop drills to become more acclimated at sinking his hips and getting pointed to the quarterback. He has some stiffness which is common for defensive ends his size, but his stiffness is not alarmingly bad and actually is better than most edge defenders with his body type.
Basham would fit best in the NFL as a base end in a 4-3 defense. If he were drafted into a 3-4, he would be a tweener. It would probably make more sense for him to gain a little weight and be a 3-4 five-technique defensive end. Basham also shows the ability to move to tackle and rush from the inside in the sub package.
2021 NFL Draft Expectations: Entering the 2020 season, some team sources feel that Basham has the potential to be a mid- to late first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft if the season goes well for him.