27-Year-Old Linebacker – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2017 Fantasy Football Outlook
David had one of the most puzzling seasons in recent memory last year, as the former tackle machine finished with just 87 stops after averaging more than 140 tackles per season in the four prior years...
Lavonte David Contract Information:
Signed a five-year, $50.25 million contract extension with the Bucs in August of 2015.
David has been particularly impressive in pass coverage during camp, Joe Kania of the Buccaneers' official site reports.
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|2017 Proj||27||TB||Subscribe now to see our 2017 projections for Lavonte David|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
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A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Lavonte David: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Few players in the league carry the quality guarantee that David does, as he's produced at an elite level with remarkable consistency in his four NFL seasons. His lowest tackle total in that span was 139 as a rookie, peaking with 147 in 2015. Het active both as a pass rusher and in coverage, totaling 13 sacks and nine interceptions in 62 games. With 32 career passes defended, David could see his interception rate increase if the Tampa pass rush improves. The additions of DEs Robert Ayers (free agency) and Noah Spence (second-round pick) give hope on that front.
If there is a linebacker rival to Luke Kuechly, David might be the most formidable contender. He averaged 10.5 tackles per game last year, posting 147 stops despite missing two games due to a concussion and a hamstring injury. David is rangy, instinctive and aggressive, dominating against the run with top-grade abilities as a blitzer and in coverage. However, his weakside role last year in Lovie Smith's 4-3 defense contributed to a big drop in both sacks and interceptions, as he was used in fewer passing situations and played a career-low 919 snaps. Considering the Bucs were 21st in sacks last season and had seven fewer interceptions than in 2013, it wouldn't surprise if David was again used as a weapon on passing downs instead of almost exclusively as a run stopper.
David has been remarkably productive in his first two seasons, following up a 139-tackle rookie season with an enormous 2013, increasing his tackle total to 145 while adding seven sacks and five interceptions. When it comes to dominating in tackles, sacks and interceptions, David might be the best linebacker in the league. Although he seems likely to hover in the 135 to 145-tackle range and is therefore unlikely to challenge players like Vontaze Burfict and Luke Kuechly in that regard, David is one of the top-tier options when it comes to making plays in coverage and as a pass rusher. New coach Lovie Smith is among the brightest defensive coaches in the game, and it would be rather surprising if he didn't recognize David's sack and interception potential and scheme in ways to capitalize accordingly. After all, it was under Smith's watch that Brian Urlacher enjoyed some of his most successful seasons in the NFL. Urlacher posted at least five sacks in three of his first four years under Smith before injuries began to take their toll.
Like Luke Kuechly and Bobby Wagner, David emerged as one of the league's elite linebackers as a rookie last year, finishing with 139 tackles (112 solo), two sacks and an interception, and he's locked in for a three-down role again in 2013. It's likely no coincidence Tampa Bay fielded the league's top run defense when David arrived from Nebraska, as the rangy linebacker was a menace at and behind the line of scrimmage. David deserves a boost in the rankings if your league accounts for tackles for loss ("stuffs") as he finished last year with 16.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. David had 24.5 tackles for loss in his 27 games at Nebraska, so this trend won't slow anytime soon. Fellow linebackers Mason Foster and Jonathan Casillas are not threats to eat into David's snap or tackle counts either.
He barely looks like 225 pounds when heís on the field, but Davidís standout athleticism, refined technique and rare instincts have him locked into the Tampa Bay starting defense, and if his college career is any indication, good IDP production awaits. He finished his two seasons at Nebraska with 285 tackles (150 solo) in 27 games, as well as 11.5 sacks and 24.5 tackles for loss. Heís obviously unproven as a rookie, but David is a sensible later-round investment and could be among the league tackle leaders early in his career.