Draft Scout Snapshot: A closer look at the Buccaneers' picks: Round 2/58 - Lavonte David, LB, 6-1, 233, Nebraska...David was a junior college transfer who hit it big immediately for the Cornhuskers and became an all-conference player. He will likely play weak-side linebacker for the Bucs. - The Sports Xchange
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David is Mr. Max, as in maximum effort, attitude, results and, unfortunately, his size, which he cannot increase any more. He reaffirmed his athleticism at the Combine with an unofficial 40-yard time of 4.65 seconds and an explosive vertical jump of 36.5 inches.
NFL scouts aren't sure whether to play him at linebacker or strong safety. But somebody will draft him, put him on the field somewhere and he will do what he has always done -- tackle people. He worked hard to get this far, so being told he is too small won't phase him.
David had a sensational high school career with Miami Northwestern's No. 1-ranked team, but due to low grades he played at Fort Scott Community College, where his team lost a national championship game to Cam Newton's Blinn College.
When he finally arrived at Nebraska, David proved he was a tackling machine by setting a school record with 152 tackles in 2010 and finished his career with 285. He has pass coverage and ball reaction instincts to be an excellent nickel linebacker.
Read & React: Tough player with excellent instincts and quick reaction time, involves himself in many run and pass plays all over the field. Occasionally guesses, flying into holes instead of finding the ball then attacking it and leaving his area open to receivers and running lanes.
Run defense: Plays mostly in the box, flies through creases to wrap up the legs of backs trying to find a hole or attempting to get to the sideline. Despite his lack of size, attacks oncoming linemen with a punch or stiff-arm into their chest and makes tackles in the box with blockers on his back. Gives and gets the worst of collisions inside.
Pass defense: Strong in coverage, often used as the only linebacker on the field against spread defenses. Possesses the quickness to stay with running backs on wheel routes or trail across the middle. Stays with underneath routes while in zone, able to break up passes in front of receivers with front hand without interfering. Gives up size to most NFL-caliber tight ends and better backs separate during routes with length and strength. Bites on aggressive arrow routes, loses his balance when trying to change directions at times.
Tackling: Hustling chase tackler who hits the thighs and wraps up legs very effectively. Tries to strip the ball when tackle is secured, has good success even against tight ends. Bigger ballcarriers can stiff-arm him in the open field because of his lack of size and length, but it does not happen too often.
Pass Rush/Blitz: Explodes through creases to reach the passer, bringing down most with a strong hit. Also chases down quarterbacks escaping the pocket to rack up sacks. Rips off running back blocks to chase the passer but freezes too often when initially facing them, making him late to reach the ball.
Intangibles: Good football work ethic and intelligence. Possesses strong character and humble attitude, called "coach's dream" by Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini.
For his career, David posted 285 tackles in 27 starts. He added 28 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, ten pass breakups and two interceptions. He was named Big 12 Defensive Newcomer-of-the-Year as a junior after collecting 152 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and six sacks for the Cornhuskers.
David was a first-team All-American selection by the AFCA and second-team honoree by the Walter Camp Association in 2011. He was named the Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year in the Big Ten and was a first-team All-Big Ten selection after finishing third in the conference with 133 tackles, averaging 10.23 tackles per game. He posted six double-digit tackle games this season, including a 17-tackle (14 solo) effort against Michigan. He also tallied 12 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, and two interceptions.
David posted 152 tackles in his first season to set a Cornhusker single-season record for tackles, surpassing Barrett Ruud’s 149 tackles in 2003. David had eight games with double-figure tackle totals, including three games with 15 or more tackles. His 10.9 tackles per game ranked atop the Big 12 and 11th in the nation. David also ranked second on the team in sacks with six for 50 yards, tackles for loss (15-60) and pass breakups (10). David was a first-team All-Big 12 choice and Defensive Newcomer of the Year by nearly every outlet that chooses a team, while The Kansas City Star tabbed him as its Defensive Player of the Year. David also earned recognition at the national level as Rivals.com and CBSSports.com both named him a first-team All-American and the Associated Press and SI.com listed him as a second-team All-America pick. David stepped into the starting lineup in the opener against Western Kentucky and recorded a team-high 13 stops. He had seven tackles and a 13-yard sack a week later against Idaho, then had a tackle for loss, two hurries and a breakup at Washington. David had a career-high 19 stops against South Dakota State, the most tackles by a Husker since 2004, and the seventh-most in school history. He added two breakups in the contest. David eclipsed double figures for the third time in 2010 at Kansas State, finishing with a game-high 16 tackles. He earned Big 12 Defensive Player-of-the-Week honors for his performance, which included 10 solo tackles and two tackles for loss, including a seven-yard sack. He reached double figures in tackles for the third straight game vs. Texas, finishing with 10 stops, including a tackle for loss and a quarterback hurry. David had eight tackles each against Oklahoma State and Missouri, and added an 11-yard sack against the Tigers. He had 10 tackles and a tackle for loss at Iowa State, then collected a team-high 10 tackles, including two sacks for eight yards, as Nebraska limited Kansas to 87 total yards. David had a career-high four tackles for loss and a sack at Texas A&M, as part of 14 total tackles. After recording eight tackles against Colorado, David had a game-high 17 tackles in the Big 12 title game, including 11 solo stops. He closed the year with seven tackles against Washington.
In 2009, Fort Scott went through the regular season undefeated before losing in the JUCO national championship game. David ranked among the Jayhawk Conference leaders in total tackles and tackles for loss in 2009, racking up nearly 10 tackles per game, while recording 19.5 tackles for loss totaling 65 yards. David excelled in the narrow loss to Blinn Junior College in the national championship game and was named Defensive MVP of the contest. During his first season under Coach Jeff Sims at Fort Scott in 2008, David led the Jayhawk Conference with 93 tackles. His play helped the team to a 9-2 record and No. 6 final national ranking. For his strong play the past two seasons, David was a two-time first-team All-Jayhawk Conference pick and was a Region VI All-American in 2009. He was ranked as the No. 7 overall junior college prospect in the country by Rivals.com, which also listed him as the No. 2 linebacker. SuperPrep listed him among the top 40 JUCO prospects in the country.
David is originally from Miami, where he played at national prep powerhouse Miami Northwestern. While he was at the school, Northwestern won back-to-back state titles in 2006 and 2007, and finished with unbeaten records each year. In 2007, Northwestern was listed as the No. 1 team in the country by USA Today.
Lavonte is the son of Lynette David and was born on Jan. 23, 1990.
Draft Scout Player News
12/24/12 - LB Lavonte David took responsibility for a blown coverage on the Rams' 80-yard pass play for a touchdown to start the second half Sunday. David bit on play-action and left the middle of the field open.
"The one play you mentioned defensively, the busted play, chalk it up to a beginner's mistake," coach Greg Schiano said. "They all have an impact in the game."
12/21/12 - LB Lavonte David (knee) had full participation in practice Thursday and will play Sunday against the Rams.
12/20/12 - LB Lavonte David has a knee injury but participated in practice on Wednesday.
12/05/12 - LB Lavonte David leads the team with 17 tackles for losses.
12/04/12 - LB Lavonte David recorded the first interception of his career off Peyton Manning.