Who Is The Bucs’ ‘Best Value’ Draft Pick In The PFF Era?

Worth generally is a difficult factor to find out. However Professional Soccer Focus has been doing it since 2006, working with a combination of fundamental metrics, superior analytics and an entire lot of movie research. This week, PFF’s Michael Renner named every NFL group’s best-value draft decide within the web site’s 16 years of grading. And it’s onerous to argue together with his alternative for the Bucs.

Tampa Bay has finished an more and more good job with drafting since 2006. Its finest run of drafts within the final 16 years has come within the Jason Licht period. Licht and his employees have some misses on their report, however they’ve largely finished a improbable job since arriving in 2014. Nonetheless, the Bucs’ best-value draft decide within the PFF period doesn’t belong to Licht. As an alternative, it belongs to Mark Dominik. That decide, after all, is veteran linebacker Lavonte David.

Bucs LB Lavonte David – Photograph by: USA As we speak

The Bucs drafted David within the second spherical of the 2012 Draft — No. 58 general — out of Nebraska. Ever since, he has confirmed to be an extremely priceless presence in Tampa Bay’s protection. Even on some dangerous groups within the 2010s, he was a brilliant spot. And when the Bucs lastly returned to the playoffs and received Tremendous Bowl LV two seasons in the past, it was onerous to not really feel particularly good for David.

Right here’s what Renner needed to say about David being the group’s best-value draft collection of the final decade and a half:

“A Corridor of Fame-caliber linebacker (in my view), David was taken in the identical draft class as Kuechly; but, he’s nonetheless taking part in elite soccer. Final season, he allowed solely 395 yards in his protection for the second-highest protection grade amongst NFL off-ball linebackers.”

Renner mentions Kuechly as a result of he and David are considerably tied collectively, provided that they had been each within the 2012 linebacker class. Plus, Renner selected Kuechly because the Panthers’ best-value decide in the exact same article. What’s extra notable about Renner’s justification for selecting David, although, are his first few phrases.

David’s Case For The Professional Soccer Corridor Of Fame

David has spent his whole profession being one of the crucial underrated gamers within the NFL. So, speak of his Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame prospects would possibly take some folks (not Bucs followers, let’s make that clear) without warning. However when you take a look at his physique of labor, it’s not onerous to see why Renner believes the 2012 second-round decide is a Corridor of Fame-caliber participant.

Bucs ILB Lavonte David

Bucs ILB Lavonte David – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

David’s consistency has been unimaginable. He has topped the 100-tackle mark in eight of his 10 NFL seasons. He’s certainly one of simply 16 gamers in league historical past with three seasons of 100-plus solo tackles. He’s additionally the one energetic participant with a number of seasons of 100-plus solo tackles. And whereas the splash performs haven’t come as steadily now that he performs a unique function in Tampa Bay’s protection, his general numbers are nonetheless there. He has 26 sacks, 26 pressured fumbles (a franchise report), 17 fumble recoveries (one other franchise report) and 12 interceptions in his profession.

To not point out, he has 133 tackles for loss in 149 profession video games. Add in 59 quarterback hits as properly. You take a look at all of these numbers and also you see a participant who’s making Professional Bowls and All-Professional groups regularly, proper?

For no matter purpose, David nonetheless hasn’t acquired the notoriety that he has lengthy deserved throughout his 10-year profession. He completed fifth in AP Defensive Rookie of the Yr voting in 2012. His solely All-Professional season got here in 2013, then his solely Professional Bowl season got here in 2015. He earned second-team All-Professional honors in 2016 and 2020, however that sadly received’t transfer the needle a lot.

Getting a Tremendous Bowl ring two seasons in the past helped his case. However voters love taking a look at Professional Bowl and All-Professional seasons. These are obviously absent from his resume. He has just a few extra years to strengthen his case, however provided that Ronde Barber of all gamers is having a tough time getting the decision, David might unfairly be an extended shot.

Right here’s the excellent news: his Bucs teammates and coaches admire David. He definitely isn’t ignored by the Tampa Bay devoted both. That’s why he’s a shoo-in for the group’s Ring of Honor inside Raymond James Stadium. And contemplating his standing as a second-round draft decide, it’s actually an understatement to say the Bucs received worth after they drafted him again in 2012.