For anyone who pays attention to the NFL Draft each year, you know that you find “your guys.” Guys that for whatever reason, you will pound the table for in those pre-draft arguments. Even if ultimately you end up really wrong.
Back during the 2017 NFL Draft. Tarell Basham was one of those guys for me. I obviously recognized the faults in his game, such as a lack of a full pass rush move repertoire, but I fell in love with his energy, effort, and first step quickness.
Often what happens is when these guys get to the league, you stop following them as closely when they aren’t on the team you cover. So while I kept an eye on Basham over the last few years, I won’t lie and say I was locked in on New York Jets football every week.
Instead, I thought it may be interesting to revisit my old notes on Basham as the draft prospect, and then see where they align with the player he is today.
When scouting Basham, I came away really impressed with his pass rush motor. He played with relentless pursuit and energy, seeming to be the exact sort of player that then defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli would love to target.
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“Though Basham’s pass rushing skills are raw, something I absolutely loved about him on film was his effort and motor. On the play above, Basham beats the left tackle with a quick inside counter move, after setting him up with speed rushes on the previous passing downs.”
Basham’s next best trait? His first step. Basham had an explosive burst off the line of scrimmage, and flashed that he could have a high ceiling both against the run and pass because of his get off. You saw him use a nice first step, good punching power, and a quick rip move to defeat blocks at the college level.
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In the end, I concluded that Basham was not the “war daddy” Jerry Jones was looking for, but that he could be a nice addition to their pass rush rotation. I saw him as a day two prospect, and thought he’d be a solid second round pick if they went with a corner in round one.
It didn’t play out this way, of course, but now Basham comes to Dallas after stints with both the Colts and Jets.
So what does this all mean for the player he is today?
Bucky Brooks of DallasCowboys.com released a scouting report on Basham this week, and you’ll notice many of the same trends exist in his notes. Bucky notes that Basham’s strengths include his energy/effort, his first step burst, and potential to make disruptive plays. He also notes that his major weakness his how raw he is in terms of pass rush moves.
Sounds like not all that much has changed.
Overall, I’m happy with the Tarell Basham signing. It’s a low risk, potentially high reward move that will most likely end in simply adding a solid player to your defensive line rotation.
And that’s exactly what the Cowboys were looking for when signing Basham.