Sean McDermott Reveals What Stood Out About Tyler Bass Before 2020 Draft

Tyler Bass

Getty Buffalo Bills rookie kicker Tyler Bass celebrates with teammates after hitting a field goal in the second half of Buffalo's Wild Card matchup with the Indianapolis Colts.

Since taking over the organization in 2017, Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane have been all about having a complete football team, which means excelling in all three phases, offense, defense, and special teams.

Sometimes teams don’t necessarily address special teams through the draft and before the 2020 draft, ESPN’s Michael Rothstein reported that only 47 kickers have been drafted since the NFL Draft changed to its current format in 1994. In four of those years, 2015, 2010, 1998, and 1996, no kicker was drafted.

So, when the Bills picked Georgia Southern kicker Tyler Bass with the 188th overall pick in the sixth round this past season, they might’ve been taking a risk. But the risk paid off this season and the Bills didn’t just pick him based on his kicking ability alone.

McDermott made an appearance on Pat McAfee’s radio show on Friday and revealed what he saw in the 5-foot-10, 185-pound kicker who caught his eye with a little bit of swagger.

“What I love about him is he’s got the one piece of eye black underneath the eye, he’s got a little bit of swagger, he’s got the flex after he has a big kick,” McDermott said during his appearance. “He really did that in college and I was watching tape with Heath Farwell, our special teams coordinator, and said hey this is the guy. Then I saw the flex and was like ‘Hey, rewind that.’ Everyone wants a kicker that’s more than a kicker, he’s a football player. I think that really endears him to his teammates.”

Bass killed it for the Bills this season and after winning the job from veteran kicker Stephen Hauschka in training camp, he took the league and his teammates by storm.

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Bass Put Together a Record-Breaking Year

In the first game of his NFL career, Bass missed two field goals against the New York Jets. But the young kicker rebounded and put together a great season. He made 28 field goals, including a season-long of 58 yards, and also converted 57 of his 59 extra-point attempts.

He broke Steve Christie’s previous single-season scoring record of 140 points with 141 points this season. He also broke Pete Gogolak’s rookie points record of 102 points.

He came up in big moments throughout the season as well. After missing a 61-yard field goal going into halftime of their Week 9 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, Bass made 16 straight field goals before missing two in Buffalo’s AFC divisional round matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.

In Buffalo’s AFC Championship win over the Kansas City Chiefs, Bass also hit four fields, including two from 51 yards to try and keep the Bills in the game.


Bass beat the New York Jets

After Bass’ rough start, the Bills put the game in his hands during their second matchup with the New York Jets in Week 7, when they took down their AFC East opponent, 18-10.

Bass scored all 18 points for the Bills that game, hitting six of his eight field goal attempts. His longest field goal came from 53 yards, but he also hit field goals from 48, 46, 37, 29, and 40 yards.

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