Oakland Raiders: David Bass

Rookie glance: DE Ryan Robinson

February, 14, 2014
How acquired: Undrafted free agent

2013 season: The Oakland Raiders essentially thought Robinson (Oklahoma State) beat out seventh-round draft pick David Bass (Missouri Western State) for the team’s final defensive end spot on the roster as Bass was cut. But while Bass surfaced with the Chicago Bears and played in 12 games, starting one, and had a sack with 23 tackles and an interception, Robinson appeared in 12 games for the Raiders and had two solo tackles with a pass defensed.

Looking ahead: The Raiders need production out of their pass rush and Robinson did not exactly provide that, granted, in relatively limited opportunities. Prototypical edge rusher is one of Oakland’s many needs in free agency and the draft, and the Raiders have vowed to upgrade the position, so it will be tough for Robinson to maintain his standing as the backup right defensive end.

The Raiders’ other 2013 rookies that finished the season on the roster: S Shelton Johnson, CB Chance Casey, WR Greg Jenkins, G Lamar Mady, QB Matt McGloin, WR Brice Butler, DT Stacy McGee, TE Mychal Rivera, RB Latavius Murray, TE Nick Kasa, LB Sio Moore, OT Menelik Watson, CB D.J. Hayden.
Reggie McKenzie has often said his plan to bring the Oakland Raiders back to relevance is through the draft.

For a team that has been in salary-cap jail and that hasn’t had a winning record in 11 years, the draft is the way to go. However, this weekend, McKenzie showed his plan is not without its obstacles.

Oakland reportedly is cutting fourth-round pick, quarterback Tyler Wilson. Saturday, the Raiders cut seventh-round pick, defensive end David Bass. Bass was claimed on waivers by Chicago on Sunday. Also, guard Tony Bergstrom (who was McKenzie’s first pick in Oakland last year) was put on the injured reserve Saturday after making no contribution as a rookie.

As for Bass, it is not unusual for a team to cut a seventh-round pick. However, the Raiders are so thin every draft pick should be kept. If not, the pick has to be questioned.

Also, coach Dennis Allen recently said the team was counting on Bass, and this is a team desperate for pass-rush help. Thus, the drafting of Bass has to be considered a mistake.

The Wilson situation is a downright disaster. Yes, I realize the Raiders are keeping undrafted free-agent quarterback Matt McGloin. He may have a nice future. But the Wilson-McGloin move is not a wash.

A thin team like Oakland cannot afford to cut a fourth-round pick. They needed to get a future starter with the pick.

I almost certainly expect Wilson, who was given a meaty signing bonus by the cap-strapped Raiders a month ago, to be claimed. Quarterback is such a high-priority position and there will likely be a few teams that had a high grade on Wilson that will want to give him a chance with a waiver claim.

Again, Oakland has to hit on its picks. McKenzie and Allen are on record saying as much. Sending valuable picks to waivers is not the way to build a roster through the draft.
Most significant moves: The Raiders were one of the more intriguing teams in the NFL on cut-down day because they have so many holes and ongoing competitions. There were a lot of significant moves. The Raiders are desperate for pass-rushers, and they cut two who were expected to make contributions. Veteran Andre Carter (expected to be a leader on a young team) and seventh-round pick David Bass were cut. Coach Dennis Allen recently said the team was counting on Bass. Tight end Richard Gordon had a chance to start, particularly because he is a good blocker on a team with a bad offensive line, but he was cut. Jeron Mastrud is the starter for now with David Ausberry coming back from a shoulder injury. The punting battle has yet to be settled. Both veteran Chris Kluwe and youngster Marquette King were kept. Either Oakland will let the two battle it out another week or cut one of them when the team makes roster additions. Perhaps the Raiders are even trying to swing a trade. Since King has made it this far, he might stick around. The team wanted to see improved consistency and he has shown it.

Crowded quarterback room: The Raiders are keeping four quarterbacks. The team kept both fourth-round pick Tyler Wilson of Arkansas and undrafted free agent Matt McGloin of Penn State. It would be highly unusual for a team to keep four quarterbacks. Some just keep two. That’s three players who most likely won’t be playing on game day. That is not ideal for a team with major depth issues. McGloin outperformed Wilson and became the No. 3 quarterback. But the decision to keep Wilson comes down to the Raiders not waiting to give up on a quarterback who was a fourth-round pick. I understand. It would be admitting a huge mistake, and perhaps Wilson (many thought he could push to start as a rookie during the offseason) will figure things out. Keeping four quarterbacks adversely affects this roster. The truth is, none of the current quarterbacks in Oakland -- including Matt Flynn and Terrelle Pryor -- may be the ultimate answer for the franchise. But the Raiders are reluctant to make any decisions now.

What’s next: The Raiders are thin and will likely look for players for the next several weeks. I would not be surprised if this team adds four or five players this week. Prime need areas are tight end, the offensive line and pass-rusher. There are a lot of interesting tight ends available, including Tony Moeaki (talented, but injured), D.J. Williams (who was in Green Bay with Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie) and Clay Harbor. Possible offensive line targets include Jake Scott and Danny Watkins.

Players cut: DE Andre Carter, LB Omar Gaither, CB Joselio Hanson, T Tony Hills, S Reggie Smith, DL Ryan Baker, DE David Bass, LB Billy Boyko, CB Chance Casey, G Jason Foster, TE Richard Gordon, WR Greg Jenkins, S Shelton Johnson, TE Brian Leonhardt, G Lamar Mady, K Justin Medlock, DT Kurt Taufa'asau, LB Chase Thomas, WR Conner Vernon, RB Deonte Williams and T Willie Smith. G Tony Bergstrom was put on injured reserve. WR Andre Holmes is serving a four-game NFL suspension.
A couple of interesting tight ends may become available for the Oakland Raiders.

Kansas City’s Tony Moeaki has tweeted he is leaving the Chiefs and the Packers are reportedly cutting D.J. Williams. Moeaki is immensely talented, but he is oft-injured and is dealing with a shoulder injury that could keep him out for an extended time.

However, Oakland doesn’t have much at the position and perhaps it would be worth claiming Moeaki. When healthy, he is far and away better than any tight end on Oakland’s’ roster. The Raiders have the second waiver claim priority after Jacksonville on Moeaki.

The team also could look at Williams. Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie was in Green Bay when it drafted Williams. He isn’t a great player, but he might be worth a look.

Also, it has been reported the Raiders are cutting their seventh-round pick, defensive end David Bass. Oakland coach Dennis Allen had said the Raiders were counting on Bass. The team badly needs pass-rush help. If he makes it through waivers, Bass would likely go to Oakland’s practice squad.