2017 Colts Rookie Class Recap: Defensive End Tarell Basham

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 23: Linebacker Tarell Basham
BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 23: Linebacker Tarell Basham /

The Colts drafted Tarell Basham to develop into their next great pass rusher. How did he fare in his first NFL season?

General manager Chris Ballard focused on totally rebuilding the Indianapolis pass rush this offseason by signing John Simon and Jabaal Sheard in free agency. He continued to try to add some talent to that position in the draft by selecting Tarell Basham in the third round.

Basham finished his college career at Ohio University with 27 sacks and 38.5 tackles for loss including 9 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss during his final season with the Bobcats before joining the Colts.

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The 6′ 4″ 270-pound defensive end didn’t have an extremely productive rookie year in Indianapolis. He picked up two sacks and a forced fumble this season, but he was stuck behind Simon, Sheard, and Barkevious Mingo on the depth chart.

While the sack numbers weren’t particularly high, Basham did play well as a pass rusher. However, he really struggled in run defense, and he will definitely need to improve on that moving forward in his career.

John Simon and Jabaal Sheard just finished the first year of their long-term deals with the Colts this season, and they will likely be the starters at the two edge defender positions again next season. But Barkevious Mingo will be a free agent this offseason, and Tarell Basham could be looking at an increased role if the Colts’ front office is unable to agree to a contract extension with Mingo.

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Basham’s rookie season wasn’t anything to get excited about, but he still has the potential to become a starting pass rusher in this league and possibly contribute with more playing time next season.

Here are the rest of our 2017 rookie recaps:

Malik Hooker

Marlon Mack

Quincy Wilson

Nate Hairston