Colts wrap up draft class, sign LB Tarell Basham

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – That’s a wrap for the Indianapolis Colts and their eight-player draft class.

The team signed third-round pick Tarell Basham Friday to his four-year rookie contract. Under the NFL’s rookie wage scale, the outside linebacker out of Ohio is due deal worth approximately $3.235 million with a $835,856 signing bonus.

Basham is expected to come in and contribute immediately and boost what has been an inconsistent pass rush. The Colts finished in the middle of the pack in 2016 with 33 sacks, but they managed only 12 in their eight losses.

The 6-4, 262-pound Basham was the Mid-American Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year last season on the strength of a conference-high and school-record 11.5 sacks. In 51 career games, he had 29.5 sacks and 41.5 tackles for loss.

“There is a big opportunity for me and I hope I make the best of it and am able to come into this program and make some plays and impact that defense,’’ Basham said.

General manager Chris Ballard spoke highly of Basham taking him with the Colts’ third-round pick, the 80th overall selection.

“We think he can play on three downs,’’ he said. “He’s got good size, good length, good strength, good initial quickness, good effort.

“He’s got the things you look for in a pass rusher. Now he’s got to develop.’’