The Oakland Raiders are heading into 2013 without a dominant pass-rush presence, which could open the door for seventh-round rookie David Bass to become an early contributor for the silver and black.
A late-round flyer landed Bass in Oakland after an extremely productive career at Missouri Western State, a Division 2 football program. The first Griffon invited to the NFL Combine, Bass finished his senior season with 11.5 sacks after breaking the school record for most career quarterback takedowns (40.5).
Experience won’t be an issue for Bass, who started a school-record 50 consecutive games for Missouri Western State. The problem will be adjusting to the speed and size of the NFL, which never comes easy for a Division 2 prospect who faced off against subpar competition for the majority of his collegiate career.
Bass clearly has the size (6’4’’, 262 pounds) and speed (4.84 40) to be a contributor for the Raiders, but will have a tough time making the leap to the big leagues. The 2013 seventh-rounder doesn’t have elite edge-rushing abilities but has the experience and motor to be a difference-maker once he adjusts to the NFL.
Once training camp kicks off, Bass will compete with Jack Crawford for snaps behind starting right end Jason Hunter. While it’s unlikely that Bass will leapfrog Crawford on the depth chart, the rookie could push for a role as a pass-rush specialist considering how desperate the Raiders are for sack production. Learning from veterans like Lamarr Houston and Andre Carter will also help Bass’ transition with the Raiders.
Luckily for the small-school stud, the Raiders are still searching for talent to fill out the defensive line depth chart. If he can show some pass-rushing prowess during training camp, Bass should be on the 53-man roster when the regular season rolls around.