After finishing with only 25 sacks throughout the 2012 campaign, the Oakland Raiders’ pass-rush desperately needs a shot in the arm. That’s where seventh-round rookie David Bass comes in.
A raw, small-school talent out of Division 2 Missouri Western State, Bass is a pass-rush specialist who set a school record with 40.5 career sacks. Although he flew under the radar during the 2013 NFL Draft, Bass has already made an impact during Raiders training camp and is garnering considerable attention from coaches.
From Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle via Twitter: “Rookie DE David Bass has gotten to QB at times. Allen: ‘He’s shown the ability to rush passer. That’s something we’re going to count on.’”
When seventh-round picks are getting compliments from the head coach, you know they’re doing something right.
The 6’4’’, 254-pound pass rusher has been a consistent disruption since the start of training camp, using his speed and agility off the edge to disrupt the quarterback. Last Sunday, in the Raiders’ first padded practice, Bass batted a pass, notched a simulated sack and forced a bad throw. For a team that produced minimal pressure last season, the seventh-round rookie is starting to look like a huge steal.
Before Bass can carve a niche for himself in the Raiders’ defensive end rotation, he’ll have to continue making the adjustment from Division 2 to elite NFL competition. That will mean working on his ability to stop the run while polishing his pass-rush skills against bigger, more athletic offensive linemen. Luckily for him, the Raiders have several proven defensive lineman such as Lamarr Houston and Andre Carter who can nurture him as he develops.
Bass still has a long way to go before he can become a regular contributor for the Raiders, but the physical tools appear to be in place for him to make a smooth transition.
He might be from a small school that isn’t exactly known for producing NFL talent, but Bass is well on his way to putting Missouri Western State football on the map.