The second-year man looks to put a little boogey in the pass rush this season
The Buffalo Bills boast a revamped defensive line stocked full of talented pass rushers. Over the last few years, general manager Brandon Beane has spent lots of draft capital and money to overhaul the defensive line. The results so far have been mixed, with the team choosing to invest in younger players to develop rather than the splash free agent signing.
That is, until this year. Buffalo added that splashy big-name piece to their young talent, and they’re hoping that the result will be the first Lombardi Trophy in franchise history. With a stacked roster overall, the Bills are in clear “Super Bowl or bust” mode as the 2022 season approaches.
In today’s installment of “90 players in 90 days,” we discuss one of Buffalo’s second-year edge players—a defensive end looking for more opportunity to shine than he had as a rookie.
Name: Boogie Basham
Height/Weight: 6’3” 281 lbs
Age: 24 (25 on 12/16/2022)
Experience/Draft: 2; selected by Buffalo in the second round (No. 61 overall) of the 2021 NFL Draft
College: Wake Forest
Acquired: Second-round draft choice
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Basham enters the second year of his rookie contract, a four-year deal worth a total of $5,624,943 overall. Of that total, $2,366,547 is guaranteed. For the 2022 season, Basham carries a cap hit of $1,278,396, with a dead-cap charge of $2,003,830 if he’s released or traded.
2021 Recap: Basham essentially redshirted for much of his rookie year, as he was inactive on game days more often than he played. While he played in just eight games during the regular season, he did manage more sacks than veteran Jerry Hughes, who played more than twice the number of snaps that Basham did. In the regular season, Basham made 18 tackles, four tackles for loss, three quarterback hits, and 2.5 sacks. In the playoffs, Basham appeared in both games, notching six tackles and a sack.
Positional outlook: Basham stands to benefit the most from both Hughes and Mario Addison departing to sign with the Houston Texans. Greg Rousseau, Basham, and A.J. Epenesa are all recent Buffalo draft picks who will vie for time opposite Von Miller, whom the team signed this spring. Shaq Lawson re-signed, as well, adding another veteran presence to the young group. Mike Love and Kingsley Jonathan round out the group.
2022 Offseason: Basham is healthy and he’s participated in all offseason activities to date.
2022 Season outlook: After playing on just 19% of the Bills’ defensive snaps last season, it would be easy to expect little from Boogie in his second year. I think the opposite, however, as Basham showed flashes of ability in limited time that made me question why he was sitting behind other teammates in the first place. Given Basham’s ability to rush the passer from both the defensive end spot and as a three-tech defensive tackle, it wouldn’t shock me to see him double his snap count this year at a minimum.
With all the attention that Miller, a future Hall of Famer, should command, along with stud teammates Greg Rousseau and Ed Oliver, the Bills’ third-down pass rush unit has scary potential. I think that Basham will notch eight sacks this year, good for third on the team. After a frustrating year of development, Basham should see plenty of chances to boogie in opposing backfields this season.