The Baltimore Ravens have an aging defensive line. A team that is loaded with weapons on defense as a whole doesn’t necessarily need to add there. The Ravens have pressing needs at receiver on offense, as well as a huge hole to fill now that tackle Orlando Brown was traded to Kansas City.
That said, the On Tap Sports Net crew believes the Ravens will bolster their defensive line and select defensive end Carlos Basham out of Wake Forest.
The Wake Forest product is an excellent pass rusher coming out of college. Standing at 6-foot-3 and weighing 274 lbs., Basham has good size for a defensive end. He has strong hands in the pass rush, violently hand fighting his way through opposing offensive linemen.
Basham’s most impressive ability may be how quickly he can slip through gaps in the pass rush, essentially evading any blocks from his opponents. He is strong, and can use an opposing tackle or guard’s weight against him, forcing them into bad situations.
In the above clips, Basham displays his quickness sneaking between the guard and tackle. He does it so effortlessly, almost lulling the tackle to sleep, then slipping inside to have a clear path to the quarterback. In addition to that, Basham shows off his vicious swim move that has allowed him to have a lot of success while rushing the passer.
Overall, Basham is a powerful player. He has all the tools to be a favorable pass rusher at the next level. However, there are some concerns surrounding the Wake Forest end.
Despite Basham’s quickness and power, he lacks an explosiveness off the edge that most dominant rushers in the NFL possess. According to NFL.com, they project Basham potentially becoming an early down end who moves inside on third down to become an inside pass rusher. That role would allow him to use that power more on the inside, but could present issues with bigger and stronger guards at the next level.
Another concern for Basham is how he plays the run. Sometimes he takes himself out of a play by getting caught up with a blocker, rather than trying to shed his man and pursue the ball carrier. If he can be more aware of where the ball carrier is and shed his blocks, he could improve his service in the run game.
Overall, Basham strikes me as a high-floor player. He will contribute at the next level, bringing power and some quickness as an end, who can certainly move inside and rush from a 3-technique on third down. There is some concern with his ability to shed blocks, usually being nullified when a blocker locks into his frame. That said, these are things that coaching can help, and the Baltimore Ravens are a perfect team to coach up a high-upside defensive end.
The Ravens are aging on the defensive line. Basham, if selected, would make an immediate impact as a rotational player at worst. However, he can develop into a consistent starter in the NFL, providing great value for a team who is looking to add skill at a position they’re deep at. A marriage between Basham and the Ravens on April 29 would make a lot of sense for both sides.