Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 3/26/12
Prospect Name: Lavonte David
School: Nebraska
Position: Outside Linebacker
Height: 6’0”
Weight: 233
 
Combine Numbers: 40-Yard Dash: 4.65 seconds; Bench Press: (225 lbs.)- 19 reps; Vertical Jump: 36.0 inches
 
Strengths: David is incredibly agile and athletic.  Reads and reacts quickly and gets to his landmarks fast.  Opens his hips fluidly and can run with receivers: not a mismatch against receivers or chasing down running backs.  Physical: lines up solid, square hits with a knack for the football and frequent splash plays.  Great tackling skills which is a rare find these days.  Productive: 133 and 152 tackles in 2011 and 2010 respectively .  Can produce on special teams as well.  Good character and work ethic off the field.
 
Weaknesses: David regularly gets handled by bigger linemen getting to the second level where his short size doesn’t help in trying to shed blocks.  His inability to shed blocks, especially when considering the level of offensive line play at the next level, is a legitimate concern.  At times, when he sees offensive lineman getting to the second level, he’ll start to tiptoe and backpedal instead of attack and shed.  David won’t be growing any taller and he has added as much bulk as he can to stay at a good playing weight for his height.  David’s not as versatile as some other LBs: ideal 4-3 WLB, but probably not versatile enough to be effective in other schemes.  
 
Overall: Again, David is an ideal WLB in a 4-3 defense, so the value of David will depend on if he is drafted to fill a void in that role.  While David struggles to shed blocks, he’s still a very physical linebacker with a nose for the football.  His tackling skills could be of great value in a tackling-deficient league and his ability in pass coverage is impressive as well.  David could be a quality starter for a team, but he has to be in the right system. 
 
Projection: Second Round Pick:  #36 to the Buccaneers seems like a perfect fit since they need help at the LB position especially at WLB; they also were one of the worst tackling teams last year, so his skills in that department would be a good fit for them.  
 

PLAYERS: Lavonte David
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