Free agency news has started to slow down as teams are shifting their attention to the draft coming up at the end of April. The Vikings have had a solid month of free agency additions, but the team is still lacking some important pieces as we sit three weeks out from the draft.
The offensive and defensive lines are both going to need some sizable upgrades before the season begins. It still seems as if trading back from 14 and acquiring a second-round pick makes the most sense for the Vikings. If that were the case, Wake Forest Defensive End Carlos Basham Jr. could be a target for the team early on day two or even late on day one.
In four seasons at Wake Forest Basham Jr. totaled 173 tackles, 35.5 tackles for loss, 19.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles, three recovered fumbles and one recovery for a touchdown. What he was able to do in his final two seasons was impressive and his pro day numbers were great as well.
A 274-pound defensive end running a 4.64 40-yard dash is insane, but his athleticism isn’t the only part of his game that defined his career at Wake Forest. He also plays a physical style of football and can rush from the interior if needed.
This would be an ideal selection for the Vikings, who now have two bigger interior defensive linemen in Michael Pierce and Dalvin Tomlinson.
Tomlinson had 3.5 sacks last year and has more athleticism to his game than he’s given credit for. However, bringing in a day one starter opposite of Danielle Hunter who has the flexibility to rush from the inside would do wonders for the defense.
Darren Wolfson of KSTP reported earlier in the week that the Vikings have met with Basham multiple times already. This could be the front office just doing their due diligence, but there’s clearly some amount of interest in the former Wake Forest star.
The pass rushers in the 2021 draft class are weirder than usual, as there isn’t a clear-cut option for the top of the pack. Basham Jr. could be one of the last puzzle pieces missing to a Vikings defense that looks poised to bounce back this fall, and he could fill a huge need while allowing the team to trade back in the first-round.
Stay tuned for more 2021 NFL Draft player profiles in the upcoming months on KFAN.com.