By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Bill Belichick doesn’t only look at the big schools. He’s also scouting NFL Draft prospects at Ohio – not Ohio State, but the smaller Ohio University program.
The Bobcats do have one prospect who is expected to be drafted relatively high: defensive end Tarell Basham. It appears that Belichick may have his sights set on Basham, because he recently held a private workout with the pass rusher last week before Ohio’s Pro Day, which took place on Wednesday.
Thomas Garverick of Sports Rants tweeted a video of Basham speaking to reporters on Wednesday about his recent private workout with Belichick, describing the side of the Patriots head coach that fans and media rarely get to see:
“[Belichick] may not be the biggest fan of the media, but hey, he’s a great guy,” said Basham. “He’s a cool guy to talk to and a great guy to work with. We had a good workout and I enjoyed it.”
Basham is by far the best prospect coming out of Ohio University in 2017. He is currently ranked 63rd on CBS Sports’ NFL Draft Prospect Rankings, seventh among defensive ends, and is projected to go in the second round. But USA Today ranks him 13th among all defensive ends and Walter Football projects him as a mid-to-late-round pick.
Belichick may not necessarily have to trade up into the second round to get Basham, but it sure looks like he covets the player. Basham’s NFL.com Draft Profile noted his perfect attendance at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Virginia; that kind of punctuality is sure to excite Belichick.
Hopefully, if Basham ends up in New England, he turns out to be a better draft selection out of Ohio than wide receiver Taylor Price.
Basham’s draft profile also notes that he could fit as an edge rusher in a 4-3 or 3-4 defense. Belichick surely loves that kind of versatility. All signs point to Basham being relatively high on Belichick’s draft board, and possibly one of the Patriots’ selections on draft day.
This was updated to reflect accurate information regarding Belichick’s private workout with Tarell Basham and the Ohio University Pro Day.
Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.