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90 players in 90 days: Defensive end Carlos “Boogie” Basham Jr.

One of two linemen with a great nickname looks to make an impact in his rookie year

NFL: Buffalo Bills Minicamp Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills and general manager Brandon Beane are constantly retooling the roster in an attempt to perfect their personnel group. While perfection may not be a realistic outcome, it is a solid goal to have. Beane has remade the roster over the last few years, revamping whole positional groups at a time—sometimes more than once.

In the case of the defensive line, Beane is on his second retooling of the group as a whole. He spent big in free agency over the course of the 2019 and 2020 offseasons in search of pass rush help, but this year, Beane used draft resources to bolster his defensive line. Buffalo chose not one, but two edge players with their first two draft choices this year.

In today’s edition of “90 players in 90 days,” we profile the second of those defensive linemen Beane chose in the draft this year.

Name: Carlos “Boogie” Basham Jr.

Number: 96

Position: DE

Height/Weight: 6’3” 281 lbs

Age: 23 (24 on 12/16/2021)

Experience/Draft: R; selected by Buffalo in the second round (No. 61 overall) of the 2021 NFL Draft

College: Wake Forest

Acquired: Second-round draft choice

Financial situation (per Spotrac): Basham enters the first year of his rookie contract, a four-year pact worth a total of $5,624,943. For the 2021 season, Basham carries a salary cap hit of $1,022,717. If Buffalo releases him for some odd reason, then they’re on the hook for a dead-cap charge of $2,366,547.

2020 Recap: Basham returned to Wake Forest for his senior season, playing in six of the Demon Deacons’ nine games. Basham had 28 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, one pass breakup, and four forced fumbles in those six games. His sack total and forced fumble total each led the team. His missed one game due to COVID-19 and another (Wake’s appearance in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl) to train for the NFL Draft, but he was otherwise healthy in 2020.

Positional outlook: Basham brings some versatility to the defensive line, as he can rush from the outside either as a stand-up player or with his hand in the dirt—and he can also kick inside to rush from the interior thanks to his strength, size and quickness. He’s one of eight defensive ends on the current roster, joining Mario Addison, Jerry Hughes, A.J. Epenesa, Gregory Rousseau, Darryl Johnson, Mike Love, and Efe Obada. Veteran Bryan Cox Jr. was placed on injured reserve thanks to an Achilles injury.

2021 Offseason: Basham is healthy and has attended all OTAs thus far.

2021 Season outlook: Basham will have to fight for playing time in what is a crowded defensive front for the Bills, but he ultimately should make the roster barring something catastrophic occurring. Whether he’ll slot in as a primary reserve behind Addison and Hughes or be used as a specialist in a “racecar” package in passing situations is yet to be seen, but his versatility gives him a shot to see plenty of playing time as a rookie if he can earn it. The beautiful thing about Buffalo’s depth is that the team isn’t relying on him this year, so Basham can contribute when he’s ready.