Player: Kevin Basped
Time to start thinking about defense. And my top priority is speed on the edge. 1) I want to get to the opposing QB in a hurry, and 2) All these spread-happy offenses that are all the rage today require everyone, even DL, to “play in space.” At this point in the draft, I had the chance to take some good, young talent that could develop into something special, but I also happened to have a chance to take a guy who’s a bit unknown but no longer unproven: DE Kevin Basped from Nevada.
Career: Kevin started off his collegiate career impressively (after a redshirt year), managing to rank 6th in his conference (WAC) in Tackles for Loss with 11.5 – starting just 5 games, but playing in all 13. He continued his knack for stopping the opposition behind the LOS in 2008, leading his team in TFL and coming in 2nd in sacks. In 2008, he had 18.5 TFL for an average of 1.5 tackles behind the LOS per game.
Why Him Instead of a Domer: Again, I was looking for an edge rusher who was proven. I think the Irish have a ton of potential on the edge, but nobody at ND showed up in the top-100 for TFL last year. Kevin showed up at 17th.
Career Vs. Notre Dame: Has never played against Notre Dame.
Prediction for 2009: It’s hard to say in terms of the entire season, but looking at his abilities versus the-still-infuriatingly-unknown-ND-OL, I’ll bet his name gets announced at least a couple of times in the first game of the season, and Irish fans everywhere, who didn’t bother to read this post, wonder who the hell this kid is. Sure, Nevada was wretched against the pass last year, and there’s not much hope for that continuing, but that doesn’t mean Jimmy Clausen will leave the field with a sparkling clean jersey either.