When he was taken 80th overall as a third-round pick, Tarell Basham was viewed as a player who could come in and provide some spark as a situational pass rusher. The sky was the limit for Basham as the 6-4, 269-pound pass rusher was viewed as a steal when the Indianapolis Colts drafted him in the middle of the third round.
Fast forward to 14 games in; how has Basham done? The 23-year-old rookie has posted 5 combined tackles and 2.0 sacks while backing up Jabaal Sheard and John Simon most of the season.
Coming from the Mid-American Conference, the learning curve for Basham has been slow. But the rookie pass rusher has been learning on how to improve his game from the guys in the Colts’ locker room.
“The dedication that these guys have to their crafts, every day, that’s what has stood out the most,” Basham said. “That’s something that wasn’t preached upon me coming up, something I probably haven’t been the best at, in college. In college, I didn’t work on my craft every day. It was more just being a better athlete than the person in front of me.”
Colts general manger Chris Ballard even admitted that Basham needed to “grow up” in comments he made in October. “We need to see more out of Basham,” Ballard said on his radio show in October. “We have (seen) little flashes, but not enough right now... we need him to grow up and continue to show us he can be the pass rusher we saw in college and, right now, he’s not there. He’s not what we need him to be.”
Basham says that the one thing he’s learned this season is that the game is won during the week, every day, not just Sunday.
While he’s made strides, his rookie season has been a very up-and-down start to his career. Colts defensive coordinator Ted Monachino is very optimistic about Basham going forward. Monachino says that he hopes Basham is a part of the solution and added, according to Mike Chappell of IndySportsCentral.com, that Basham has made “a quantum leap” in the last two weeks.
So, the question remains, is Tarell Basham a part of the Colts’ pass rushing woes, or is he a part of the solution? Only time can tell.