The Jets announced yesterday that they had signed edge defender David Bass. We're going to take a look at his strengths and weaknesses.
The 27-year old Bass is listed as 6'4" and 262 pounds and was a seventh round pick out of Missouri Western State back in 2013. He has 5.5 sacks in his four-year NFL career and has started nine games.
Bass was a small-school prospect out of Missouri Western State, where he set a school record with 40 sacks in four seasons and was a two-time all-MIAA selection.
After an excellent performance at the East West Shrine Game and some good numbers at the scouting combine, Bass was drafted in the seventh round by the Oakland Raiders. However, he didn't make their final roster and was released in final cuts.
Bass spent his first two seasons with the Bears, although during his second season he was released to the practice squad temporarily. However, he came on strong at the end of the season and ended up with a career-high three sacks in eight games.
Bass joined the Titans in 2015, starting seven games and recording a career-high 36 tackles in his first year. However, he was reduced to a reserve role last year.
Having signed with Seattle in May, Bass played off the bench in the first two games, recording one tackle, but was released last week.
Let's take a closer look at what Bass brings to the table, divided into categories.
As you can see from his combine performance, Bass has good agility numbers and big hands, but his athletic numbers are otherwise unremarkable.
However, he ran a sub-4.7 40-yard dash at his pro day and also made incremental improvements to his vertical and bench press.
Here's an example of his athletic ability on this fumble return:
Bass has been used in a variety of ways since entering the NFL. With the Bears in his first two seasons he was primarily a conventional defensive end in their 4-3 scheme. However, with the Titans he played more as a 3-4 outside linebacker. In preseason, he also lined up as a defensive tackle in some pass rush packages.
Bass plays with determination and is relentless in pursuit. He has proven to be capable of handling a big workload. In 2015, he played over 95% of the snaps in the last six games.
Bass thrived in college largely because of his quick get-off and athletic ability. Since entering the NFL, he's had to work at refining his technique.
His production in terms of generating pressure hasn't been particularly good, but he has recorded 5.5 sacks in his NFL career and another 5.5 sacks in preseason action. Many of these came via coverage sacks or pursuit, such as this strip sack on Josh McCown:
Bass has generally not graded out too well against the run, although he fared better in 2016. He's shown some ability to hold up at the point of attack but struggles against double teams and has a tendency to lose outside contain at times.
On this play, he gets initially blocked off the line and then pursues across the field but fails to make the tackle:
Bass has big strong hands which help him to wrap ball carriers up effectively. However, as seen on the previous gif, he will at times have a tendency to come in too high.
Missed tackles haven't been a big issue for Bass, although he missed six tackles in his rookie season, including three in one game on LeSean McCoy. He has only missed four tackles in three seasons since then, though.
Here was a nice hit he had in preseason as he made a coverage sack on Patrick Mahomes:
Bass has shown that will get his hands up on the pass rush and batted down three passes at the line of scrimmage in 2015.
Moreover, he's also used those big hands to corral a couple for interceptions, including this one that he returned for a touchdown in his rookie year:
He also had this pick of Matt Ryan:
Bass didn't drop into coverage very often in Chicago, but was required to do so more often in Tennessee, albeit that he didn't match up in the slot very often.
He gave up a touchdown on this play, just reacting a beat too late to the under route and getting caught flat footed:
Bass has shown some good production on special teams, both in coverage and as a blocker and could provide an upgrade there. He had five special teams tackles in 2015.
He had one penalty for an illegal block in the back.
In preseason, Pete Carroll was complimentary of how instinctive Bass was, praising his sense for the game and how they were able to use him in a variety of ways.
He has had three dead ball penalties at the snap in his NFL career.
Carroll also praised how hard Bass had been working and Cliff Avril also singled him out as a player who had been impressive with his hard work and playmaking ability. Todd Bowles has said they like his intangibles.
He doesn't have any off-field character concerns, although he was fined for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Drew Brees, which was another example of him going in too high on a tackle. He's had one other roughing the passer penalty in the NFL.
Bass started all 50 games when he was in college and most of the 15 games he's missed at the NFL level have been because he was a healthy scratch. He missed a couple of games at the end of last year with a groin issue though.
Bass has experience of playing on the edge in 3-4 and 4-3 defenses and is perhaps better equipped to handle a conventional 4-3 edge role than some of the other edge defenders the Jets have been using.
Bass is certainly a more established and experienced veteran than Freddie Bishop, whose spot on the roster he is taking. There's also no shame in being squeezed out on the Seattle roster because they're pretty loaded on the defensive line, especially since adding Sheldon Richardson, and it's clear he had impressed the coaching staff and his teammates there during the offseason.
Bass has a chance to be a complete player in terms of playing the run, contributing on special teams and creating pressure off the edge and this could be an ideal opportunity on a roster that isn't exactly drowning in consistent contributors on the edge.
However, Bass hasn't been particularly productive over the past few seasons so it remains to be seen if he's a promising player that just deserves a chance or just another replacement level player that won't make much of an impact.