First up: last year’s rookie kicker
As we put together the list of the best young Buffalo Bills, we’re focused on an intersection of three different qualities: talent and potential, on-field impact, and positional value. Careful examination of the roster made sure no one was overlooked, including a player who doesn’t see the field very often, but excelled when he was given the opportunity on special teams.
Number 10: K Tyler Bass (turned 24 on February 14)
How about a little love for the specialist? As a rookie, he won a training camp battle against longtime veteran Stephen Hauschka. Though his career started a little shaky, the Bills showed faith in him. He found his stride in a record-tying day against the New York Jets, when he took eight field-goal attempts and converted six of them. After that week, he was 39-of-40 on extra points and 16-of-17 on field goals to finish the regular season. That included a streak of 14 consecutive field goals to close out the year. His highlight was definitely the Arizona Cardinals loss, in which he scored three consecutive 50+ yard field goals, all in a single quarter. That’s an NFL record.
Bass didn’t let his team down in the playoffs, either. He did miss two field goals on a blustery day against the Baltimore Ravens, but so did All-Pro kicker Justin Tucker on the other end. That game aside, he was perfect.
Bass set the franchise scoring record last year, thanks in part to Buffalo’s prolific offense and in part because he was really pretty reliable when the Bills needed him. He also kicked touchbacks 70 percent of the time on kickoffs.
Sure, he’s a kicker. He plays, at best, ten or 15 snaps in a game. But Bass had an outsized impact for his position, and that earns him a place on this list.