I got the chance to speak with Wake Forest cornerback Essang Bassey during the Senior Bowl media day event on Tuesday, January 21st. The following is a transcript of our conversation.
Draft Rite (John Vogel): Is it eh-sang?
Essang Bassey: ee-sang.
Draft Rite: Okay, Essang. Gotcha. So what do you think is the biggest strength that you’re going to bring to an NFL team?
Bassey: Probably my versatility. The ability to play inside or outside. I’m good on special teams as well, so.
Draft Rite: Gotcha. So do you prefer playing press or do you prefer playing a little bit off, or are you more of a zone guy?
Bassey: I’m comfortable in my pedal, so off. But, I do feel like I have the ability to press guys. So yeah, pedal, man coverage, yeah.
Draft Rite: Kinda like a trail technique?
Bassey: A little bit. Just anyway that I can match a guy.
Draft Rite: Gotcha, ’cause I mean, they’re going to question your size.
Bassey: Yeah, for sure. For sure.
Draft Rite: Like, standing next to you is a little bit… I’m not going to say underwhelming, but it’s a little bit surprising because I thought you were a little bigger.
Bassey: Yeah, in terms of, like, height-wise?
Draft Rite. Yeah. So how do you think that you make up for length?
Bassey: Yeah, so I play with good technique. Smooth footwork. I don’t really put myself in body positions where I let somebody’s height take over. I’m explosive as well. So, I can jump with most guys.
Draft Rite: What do you think you’re going to leap?
Bassey: At least thirty-seven.
Draft Rite: Okay, that’s good.
Bassey: Yeah. So, like I said, explosive, quick, so it kinda makes up for my lack of size. I’m strong enough too so, people being physical with me wasn’t really a problem in college I don’t believe.
Draft Rite: So you played against Jordan Love, right?
Bassey: Yes, I did.
Draft Rite: Week one.
Bassey: First game.
Draft Rite: How was it trying to defend those receivers with Love [making the throws]?
Bassey: Yeah, so those receivers were great. You know, even if you’ve got a guy covered, he’s able to put it in the right spot. He actually threw a touchdown on me.
Draft Rite: Which one was that?
Bassey: Which touchdown was it?
Draft Rite: Was it in the first quarter? Was it later on?
Bassey: I can’t remember.
Draft Rite: I can’t either. I was watching it.
Bassey: Back corner of the end zone. But yeah, he threw a dime. I had the guy covered pretty well.
Draft Rite: Oh yeah, you did.
Bassey: And, uh, got his foot down. You know? So, plays like that, you know, NFL talent. He puts the ball in good spots. It was really good to compete, especially in that season.
Draft Rite: I gotcha. So last question is what is the biggest weakness that you have that you’re going to be working on during this pre-draft process?
Bassey: Um, biggest weakness… Like I said, my size. Just me combating, you know, not letting plays happen that ‘oh, his size if he was bigger,’ you know. Trying to take those plays away.