Every now and then, a football player is chosen in the later rounds of the draft who has the potential to be a good player. Sometimes these players are found at small conference schools. There isn’t a lot of film on these types of players, but the National Football League (NFL) Combine is an equal playing field for all players to show their abilities. Once drafted, it’s all about their development at practice and the player’s ability to grasp the concept and show improvement.
Addressing the losses of Defensive End Matt Shaughnessy and Defensive Tackles Desmond Bryant, Tommy Kelly, and Richard Seymour, was a priority for the Oakland Raiders in the 2013 NFL Draft. With the 233rd pick in round 7 of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders selected defensive end David Bass out of Missouri Western State.
Bass was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and attended high school at St. Louis (MO) University City. He chose to attend Missouri Western University in Saint Joseph, Missouri. Bass immediately started as a freshman in all 12 games. He had 47 tackles, 9.5 for loss, and 6.5 sacks. Bass’ sophomore year statistics nearly mirrored his freshman year. Continuing into his junior and senior years, Bass increased his production and put up record-breaking numbers. He broke the schools records for career sacks (39.5) and consecutive starts (50). At the East-West Shrine game, his abilities were on display to the world as he was the most consistent pass rusher.
Due to Bass’ sound fundamentals and natural skills, the Oakland Raiders have been using him as an Outside Linebacker (OLB) and Defensive End (DE) during Organized Team Activities (OTA’s). They’ve been asking him to drop back into pass coverage in order to create confusion for opposing offenses. If this is the case, he would be used much like the Dallas Cowboys use DeMarcus Ware or the Denver Broncos use Von Miller. In any event, Bass’ ability to edge rush will be a nice complement to Lamarr Houston.
There is a lot of buzz coming out of OTA’s about how the defense is creating a lot more confusion for the offense this year. This is due to a variety of defensive packages that the players are asked to run. According to interviews by quarterback Matt Flynn, safety Charles Woodson, and linebacker Nick Roach, the defense is going to be really exciting to watch this year.
Bass has great mentors to follow and listen to on the Raiders roster. Between Nick Roach, Lamarr Houston, Kevin Burnett, and Charles Woodson, his development should prosper. Among the other draft acquisitions, he will be a player to watch in Pre-Season. With the rebuild of this team in full force, his Pre-Season play could elevate him to a starting position and give him ample amount of playing time in the regular season.