With the 58th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Nebraska Cornhuskers linebacker Lavonte David. David was the 29th-rated prospect in the draft and the No. 2 outside linebacker available, behind only Courtney Upshaw, according to Mocking the Draft.
David was selected as the No. 40 pick in SB Nation's NFL bloggers mock draft by the Carolina Panthers. It seems that there are some issues with his size, but our experts thought he'd do just fine in the NFL.
David played the 2011 college season around 225 lbs but has since bulked up to 233 lbs as measured at the combine. The added weight didn't affect his speed the slightest (4.56) and so, just like Davis he is being questioned as to whether he is a safety in the NFL. Like Davis, Lavonte will put on a little bulk and settle in at WLB whenever Davis is not able too, whether that is this fall or another season or two. In the meantime he will also be another boost to our special teams unit.
On the field David brings the speed to cover TE's out of the backfield, a talent sorely missing in 2011 without Davis or MLB Jon Beason. He shows a talent for penetrating the line and making tackles for losses both in short yardage and end runs. David has great football instincts, is physically strong and is a sure tackler, making him the kind of impact player Ron Rivera seeks from the WLB position.
David joins first rounder S Mark Barron on the Bucs.