The Dallas Cowboys got some depth to their defensive line in free agency with the additions of Brent Urban, Tarell Basham, and Carlos Watkins. However, seeing as the NFL is a league fueled by high-powered offenses, you can never have too many bodies to get after the quarterback.
Day 2 of the NFL Draft is where second and third-round selections are made and a good opportunity for teams to find under-the-radar prospects that can potentially be stars on the pro level. Carlos “Boogie” Basham is a defensive lineman out of Wake Forest that the Cowboys should keep an eye on.
After just 24 tackles and no sacks as a redshirt freshman in 2017, Basham took his game to another level in 2018. He recorded 64 tackles (11 tackles for loss), 4.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries, and a defensive touchdown. Basham produced 85 tackles (22.5 tackles for loss), 15 sacks, four pass breakups, and seven forced fumbles while garnering First-Team (2019) and Third-Team (2020) All-ACC honors over his final two seasons. Those numbers would’ve been even better if not for a COVID-19 outbreak at Wake Forest that only allowed him to play seven games in last season.
Positives: Tough, explosive, and instinctive defender with a complete game. Intelligent but also a slug-it-out defender. Immediately diagnoses and unfolds plays and shows speed moving in every direction. Plays with proper pad level out of a three-point stance, effectively uses his hands to protect himself, and displays a variety of moves getting off blocks.
Forceful up the field, rarely off his feet and consistently attracts double-team blocks. Chases the action hard and plays through the whistle on every snap. Displays good change-of-direction skills and speed up the field and possesses a closing burst. Stays with assignments and plays within the system.
Negatives: Lacks bulk and gets out-positioned from the action by a single blocker. Does not display a great first step off the snap.
Analysis: Basham is a defensive prospect who checks all the boxes — instincts, intensity, and athleticism. He was asked to do more than to rush the passer at Wake Forest and effectively handled assignments, but when let loose at the Senior Bowl as a pass rusher, he was a dominant force. I prefer Basham in a system that stands him over tackle, and he comes with a large upside.
Adding Basham to DeMarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory, Tarell Basham, Ron’Dell Carter, and Bradlee Anae would set the Cowboys up nicely as far as getting pressure from the edge. Also, as mentioned in one of the videos above, he’s looked at as a moveable chess piece that could slide inside to play defensive tackle or play linebacker.
With such a wide variety of attributes, Basham is a very intriguing player and one the Cowboys should consider.