I believe Lavonte David is one of the most underappreciated, undervalued, underrated linebackers in the NFL, and one of the most underrated overall defensive players in the NFL. He does not get the credit that he rightfully deserves. Lavonte David is my favorite defensive player on the team.
To make the case, I am going to compare him to Derrick Brooks. Brooks is arguably one of the best linebackers in NFL history and one of the best defensive players that the Buccaneers have ever had.
Hall of Fame Buc, Derrick Brooks, spent his entire 14-year NFL career with Tampa Bay. He was selected to the Pro Bowl 10 times, and he was a First-Team All-Pro five times. In 224 games, he recorded 25 interceptions, 7 defensive touchdowns, 84 passes defended, 24 forced fumbles, 4 fumbles recovered, 13.5 sacks, 1,710 total tackles, and 68 tackles for loss.
Lavonte David has been in the league half as many years as Brooks had and is on pace with the Hall of Fame linebacker. However, LD has only been selected to the Pro Bowl and First-Team All-Pro once. David in 105 games, recorded 10 interceptions, 3 defensive touchdowns, 38 passes defended, 18 forced fumbles, 13 fumbles recovered, 21.5 sacks, 884 total tackles, and 106 tackles for loss. If you had noticed, some of those numbers are significantly higher than Derrick Brooks’ career stats. Considering that David has been in the league half the number of years as Brooks and has already passed Brooks in a few statistical categories, he should get a lot more acknowledgment than he does. He is on pace to shatter all of Derrick Brooks’ franchise records.
Lavonte David has made a tremendous impact on this Buccaneers football team and should remain in a Bucs uniform for the entirety of his career. For those who say Brooks is one of the best linebackers in Bucs history and is among the top of the NFL’s all-time linebackers list, not giving Lavonte David his due is a slap in the face to all who love the sport.
It is time David starts getting recognized and given the credit he deserves! The future Hall of Famer is definitely earning it.