49ers NFL Draft 2021: 3 edge rushers to target in Round 2

Carlos Basham Jr. #9 of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Carlos Basham Jr. #9 of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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Carlos Basham Jr., Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Wake Forest Demon Deacons defensive lineman Carlos Basham Jr. (18) Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports /

49ers EDGE Target No. 2: Carlos Basham Jr., Wake Forest

If the 49ers are viewing someone who has much more violent hand usage and is technically more sound than Patrick Jones II, taking a harder look at Wake Forest’s Carlos Basham Jr. would make a lot more sense.

And unlike Jones, Basham appears pegged as a safe Round 2 selection instead of a potential reach within the round.

Had Basham declared for the NFL Draft after his 2019 junior season, he probably could have been in consideration for first-round status after posting a collegiate career-high 10 sacks. While he still managed five sacks in six games in 2020, his pass-rushing prowess seemed to dip quite a lot, and Basham’s 6-foot-5 and 285-pound frame looked much more sluggish and unimpressive than it did a year before.

Basham won’t have the explosiveness out of his stance, and he’ll need some more practical strength at the point of the attack.

That said, there are still a lot of quality elements to his game that’ll suggest he can turn into a legitimate pass-rushing threat at the next level, particularly in a 4-3 defense like the 49ers operate.

Basham has a much wider array of pass-rushing moves. If he can cut down on the weight a little bit and improve his speed, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him turn into a quality rotational rusher early in his career.