INDIANAPOLIS – Tennessee vs. Ohio.
On paper, the game was likely an afterthought in the world of college football this past season.
The game did have two future NFL pass rushers though, who have been taken in the first three rounds of this year's draft.
Tennessee's Derek Barnett (1st round, Eagles) vs. Ohio's Tarell Basham (3rd round, Colts).
It was Basham's 2.0 sacks against SEC competition that resonated with Chris Ballard throughout the draft process.
When the 80th overall pick rolled around on Friday night, Ballard made sure he was going to see more of Basham.
The Colts took Basham in Round Three, as they hope to find what all NFL teams are seeking---a young, disruptive pass rusher.
"They did reach out to me at the Combine and told me how important it was to get some pass rushing this year," Basham said of the Colts on Friday night.
"Once they did pick me, I knew I would be right at home, somewhere I would come in and start rushing the passer, making plays."
Basham will be making the transition from a 4-3 defensive end to a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL.
At this year's Senior Bowl, the Colts got a glimpse at Basham in more of a stand-up role.
They were encouraged about what they saw. That, along with the length and quick reaction at the snap, has the Colts intrigued about the pass rushing Basham will try to bring to professional football.
Ballard does believe that Basham can be more than just a pass rusher. The 42.5 tackles for loss from Basham backs up that belief.
From his talks at the Combine and observations of the Colts after three defenders in three draft picks, Basham knows he is part of something big in Indianapolis.
"I see they are trying to get their defense going," Basham said. "I'm proud to be a part of the new Indianapolis Colts defense. I hope that I'm able to come in and make an impact."
And about that pass rushing, how would Basham assess that aspect of his game?
"Most definitely a strength," he said.
Colts fans hope to see that come to fruition this fall.
Tarell Basham - Round Three - Pick 80 - Defensive End - Ohio University
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