Round 3 – Pick 80 Overall // Tarell Basham EDGE
The Colts use their 3rd round pick to select the 2016 MAC defensive player of the year in Tarell Basham. Basham finished this past season with 11.5 sacks and 16 tackles for loss. While able to produce against his college competition, he looks more like a developmental player at the NFL level.
Basham’s task at the next level will be to improve on his arsenal of attacks against NFL Tackles. In college, Basham relied more on his pure athleticism to win matchups than he did on utilizing superior technique. With a third round pick, it’s most likely that the Colts will bring him along slowly around new additions John Simon, Barkeviovs Mingo, and Jabaal Sheard. This allows him to be a situational pass rusher early on as he continues to grow as a full time player. Ballard’s offseason moves allowed the Colts to sit back and wait for their Edge player in the draft because they have viable starting options already on the roster.
The phrases I keep seeing around Basham’s name are “high motor” and “sets an edge” (and those are words not coming from Pagano–yet, so they clearly mean more). He is a physical player and a pure athlete which matches well with what Ballard said he was looking for in the draft: Unique talents.
The linebackers were a liability the last few years. The third round is the perfect time to take a chance on a really good athlete that needs some coaching to become a starter in this league. There isn’t a ton of buzz or excitement around this Basham pick, but it’s the exact kind of calculated, educated move that should be expected of Ballard. High upside pure athletes on defense—it’s almost too logical.
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