Written by: -J.J Murphy
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will make franchise history by playing in 5 primetime games in the upcoming season, turning all eyes on the red and black down south. With this much exposure, the pressure is on for the team to showcase the talent that they have amassed. One of the many talented players, in particular, is Lavonte David. Since being drafted in 2012, David has played linebacker (LB) for the Buccaneers. Last season, his statistics show that he is an absolute force to be reckoned with. In 2019, David posted 123 total tackles, three forced fumbles, one sack, and one interception. He was in the top ten of all NFL linebackers in total tackles (solo and assisted), the top 20 in passes deflected, and the top 15 in forced fumbles. Lavonte David is easily one of the most disruptive linebackers in the NFL right now.
Why is Lavonte David such an underrated linebacker?
He can do everything a coach wants his linebacker to do. He can stop the run, and he can drop into pass coverage – In terms of pass coverage for LBs, he ranks the highest in the National Football League from 2017-2019 with 92.2 out of 100. It would be in the best interest of the Tampa Bay organization and its fans to keep David as a franchise player for as long as possible because he is set to become a free agent in 2021. He will be a great mentor to Devin White and all of the future young, hungry LB’s that make their way down to Tampa Bay.
How did Tampa find such a dynamic player?
Tampa selected him in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft with the 58th overall pick out of the University of Nebraska. He was the 8th linebacker taken off the board. Compared to a few of the LB’s selected ahead of him, David’s stats are much, much stronger. He has consistently performed as the second-best LB in the 2012 draft class behind the one and only Luke Kuechly. Now that Kuechly has retired from football, Lavonte David is in the perfect position to finally get the recognition that he deserves for being the best LB in the National Football League. With David anchoring the defense, and newcomer Tom Brady leading the offense, Tampa Bay is finally primetime again.