Seventh Round: 233rd Pick
If you've never heard of the Gene Upshaw Award, then you've probably never heard of David Bass. That's a mistake because this kid has the potential to be a late-round steal in the 2013 NFL draft.
Bass was a finalist for the aforementioned honor, which is given out to the best lineman in Division II. You'll notice at the end that I have Bass going higher than most other draftniks (six or later). Read on to find out why.
Bass is a solid athlete with impressive speed (4.82 at the combine, 4.69 at his pro day) and great lateral quickness. His 4.33 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle was the fourth-best time at the combine for defensive ends, which was quicker than super freaks Dion Jordan and Barkevious Mingo.
On the field, he's a natural pass-rusher. Bass used his speed and agility to record the most sacks in Missouri Western State history (39.5) and was incredibly durable (50 consecutive starts).
Any Division II player is going to face questions regarding the competition, but he did hold his own in the East-West Shrine game. Bass lacks of technical moves. He was able to get by using his natural abilities.
He could also benefit from some time in the weight room. His 20 bench reps was almost doubled by the top performers at defensive end.
Lastly, he'll have to fight to find a spot on the field because he is a tweener.
|Player||40-yard Dash||Bench Press||20-Yard Shuttle|
Bass has prototypical size for a defensive end/outside linebacker hybrid (a.k.a “tweener,” a player without a true position), standing 6'4" and weighing 262 at the combine.
He has a sleek physique that could probably handle some additional weight if a coach needed him to be a better anchor against the run. He also has nice arm length (33.5") and large hands (10.5") that are comfortable handling the football.
Everything about Bass reads as a great chemistry guy who isn't going to cause problems. His on-field personality displays determination, and his confidence should help him succeed at the next level.
Bass played as a down defensive end in Missouri Western State's 4-3 system.
Bass gets off the line quickly and puts offensive tackles on their heels. Once he has them on the run, he's able to get around them and take the correct path to the quarterback. He closes with speed, but remains under control, which enabled him to rack up those ridiculous sack numbers.
Against the Run
One of Bass' main duties was to guard the edge and stuff the run, and he did so quite well. He's able to read plays properly and stay in position.
If Bass gets his hands on a ball-carrier, that player is going down, thanks to his large, strong hands. However, he has a tendency to come in too high, which could lead to problems against better competition.
Use of Hands
Bass coasted a little too much in college, meaning he didn't always have to use his hands to fight off blockers since he could rely on his natural talent to avoid them. Yet, the tape shows a player capable of using his hands to get off blocks when necessary, so he probably just needs some fine-tuning.
Additionally, watch the plays where he picks off a pass or rips the ball from the quarterback's torso while sacking him. Allow me to be the first to say that he has "versatile hands."
Scheme Versatility/Future Role
This is the biggest issue concerning Bass. I'd prefer to see him keep his speed and quickness by moving to a 3-4 rush linebacker, as opposed to bulking up to become a 4-3 end. Although he would do well in a Wide 9 scheme, much like Cliff Avril did with the Detroit Lions in 2011.