Tarell Basham – Edge Rusher – Ohio
The only reason I watched Tarell Basham’s game tape was because I was trying to get a good look at his teammate Blair Brown. However, while I was watching Brown I couldn’t help but notice Basham just jumping off the screen at me. If you had told me beforehand that two of my five defensive crushes in this draft class would be from Ohio (not Ohio State, but Ohio) I would have laughed at you….but that’s exactly what has happened.
Originally, I had written Basham off as a real option for the Chiefs because I thought at his size/speed (6-foot-4, 270 pounds, 4.7 forty time) that he was more of a 4-3 defensive end than a 3-4 outside linebacker. However, when I watched the tape I saw a guy that could be the heir apparent to Tamba Hali. Yes, Basham is a larger edge rusher prospect, but that’s not a bad thing. The Chiefs spend enough time in the sub package where the OLBs essentially become an OLB/DE hybrid that having a larger pass rusher that can better hold up against the run is a plus.
What I like most about Basham is that he was highly productive (and disruptive) on film while still being incredibly raw. The following passage is from Lance Zierlein’s “weaknesses” portion of his scouting report from NFL.com:
"His pass rush attack is still basic. Leaves his hands at home rather than turning them into weapons of victory. Tries to bull his way around the edge with strong lower body rather than softening edge with his hands. Needs to develop a better plan with reliable counters to beat pro tackles."
Normally a player’s “weakness” doesn’t get me excited, but this one actually did. You know which NFL team has an actual martial arts expert at practices to help pass rushers develop their hand attack? The Kansas City Chiefs. You know who has an incredible veteran named Tamba Hali who may be the best example of the training and work ethic it takes to improve in this area? The Kansas City Chiefs. Basham also only put up 15 reps in the bench press so there is room to add strength as well. I think if you take Basham’s raw talent and get him to buy into Tamba Hali’s (and Justin Houston’s) work ethic you could have a future Pro Bowl caliber player that has the agility and pass rush skills to excel at outside linebacker and also the size to help hold up in the run game.
The great thing is you can scout both Basham and Blair Brown by watching the four games they have available at Draftbreakdown.com. I highly recommend giving them a watch.
So what do you think Chiefs fans? Do you like any of these defensive players as much as I do? Do you have any defensive draft crushes of your own? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!