Not many people realize just how good Lavonte David is.
Known mostly for his game-losing penalty against the New York Jets in Week 1, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker has become one of the best defensive players in the league in just his second season. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at the stats:
David has 116 combined tackles (tied for fifth in the league), six interceptions (tied for second) and five sacks. He is only the seventh player in the history of the NFL to have at least five sacks and five interceptions in one season. Simply put, David is playing better than any defender in the league.
David, who played at the University of Nebraska, was a second-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. His main weakness was his 6-foot-1, 233 pound size, which was not considered ideal for an NFL linebacker.That “weakness” has certainly not deterred him from having a huge impact at the next level.
A big part of what makes David so special is that he is always able to find the football. Whether it is a run or a pass, he is able to sniff it out and immediately make a play. His combination of instincts, quickness and overall ability is unparalleled.
Although he likely will not win the defensive player of the year award, David’s performance should not be overlooked. Despite playing on a losing team, his efforts are more than comparable to those of any other star player in the league. More importantly though is that David is still only 23-years old and his best years are far ahead of him.
Perhaps Tampa truly is witnessing the next coming of Derrick Brooks.