Kevin Basped left the University of Nevada after a junior season in which he was recognized as a Second-Team All-WAC performer with 9.5 sacks.
Possessing a legitimate burst off the snap and as impressive a physique as any player in the 2010 draft, Basped was viewed as a potential mid round pick. I was told that he'd impress in workouts (and he did) posting a 4.75 second time in the 40-yard dash and lifting 225 pounds 26 times at the Combine while measuring in at 6-5, 258 pounds.
Teams operating out of a 3-4 alignment liked him as a rush linebacker. Teams using the 4-3 were impressed enough with his speed to consider him as a potential SAM convert, but thought he'd probably perform best remaining at the defensive end position he'd starred at while with the Wolf Pack. Along with Dontay Moch, an intriguing DE/OLB himself, Basped helped provide Nevada with one of the country's most formidable pass rushes.
With such obvious upside, I was very surprised to see Basped fall completely out of the draft.
Last night on the initial episode of HBO's fabulous series Hard Knocks , we learned why.
Basped's knees, at least according to Jets' doctors, were enough of a concern to release him. Head coach Rex Ryan and others had lauded Basped on a couple of occasions earlier in the show -- both for his play on the field and his toughness in dealing with the knee pain -- but the potential for Basped to be seriously injured and force the Jets to give him an injury settlement was apparently too much to bear.
Basped, who was signed by the Jets as an unrestricted free agent following the draft, was officially released August 8. The release didn't generate much national attention.
With the hype surrounding the inside look into the Jets' training camp via Hard Knocks , however, the sad reality of the NFL was on display for all to see.
Here's hoping that Basped is able -- through surgery or rehabilitation -- to get another shot at the NFL.