As the 2013 NFL Draft draws closer, some of the country’s top players from most of the country’s top college football programs are anxiously awaiting to find out their professional destination. While you can be sure that college football powerhouses such as Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State and USC will produce plenty of pros once again this year, you can be just as sure that some of the country’s smaller schools will yield some professional talent as well.
Jerry Rice, the best receiver in NFL history, is a produce of Mississippi Valley State. Our own John Randle, another Hall of Famer, played at Texas A&I – Kingsville. We see it all the time – players from small schools in college can make a big impact in the NFL.
In recognition of this, we’ll run a series called “Small School Spotlight” to highlight a few of this year’s intriguing prospects who may not get the attention they deserve because they come from smaller schools.
We’ll kickoff the small school spotlight with one of my favorite sleepers in this entire class – DE David Bass from Missouri Western State. You don’t see Missouri Western play its games on TV. They play the likes of Emporia State University, Pittsburgh State and Minnesota State – Mankato, and those matchups aren’t going to be featured on prime time network TV. But if you did see Missouri Western State football, you’d notice Bass right away.
He measures in 6-4, 262-pounds and he was moved between left DE and right DE because of his effectiveness and versatility. Bass was a 4-year starter at Missouri Western who at one point started 50 consecutive games. He’s the school’s all-time sacks leader with 39.5 and he recorded 56.0 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and 22 pass breakups in his career. I don’t care where you’re playing, that kind of production is worth serious consideration when it comes to transitioning into the NFL.
Bass lacks the burst and play-with-your-hair-on-fire demeanor that makes defensive linemen such as Jared Allen so special. But Bass does have the potential to play in the NFL, and if a 3-4 team likes him I think he can stand up as an outside linebacker in that scheme. At some point it’s hard not to wonder if the “small school” tag is too much of a factor for folks putting together pre-draft rankings. Bass is generally an underrated prospect in my view, and this point is illustrated by the fact that he’s the 24th-ranked DE in NFL.com’s rankings. Not the 24th-ranked defensive lineman – the 24th ranked DE. For my taste, that’s simply too low.
Tags: 2013 NFL Draft, David Bass, Small School Spotlight
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