You’re going to get a lot more exposure when you win the Super Bowl and that’s exactly what we’re seeing with Bucs linebacker Lavonte David.
David has been one of the league’s best for quite some time. Pretty much ever since he was drafted in 2012. But he has just one All-Pro and one Pro Bowl despite his place in the top echelon of nearly every major statistical category involving the position.
And that All-Pro nod happened all the way back in 2013. The Pro Bowl happened in 2015.
But now he’s starting to receive his due. The Touchdown Wire’s Mark Schofield recently ranked David as the NFL’s third-best off-ball linebacker and now another major outlet is giving him some love.
Pro Football Focus is currently working on its top-50 players in the NFL and they released Nos. 50-21 on Monday. David made the list, coming in at No. 49:
David is 31 years old, but he was still the only player capable of covering Travis Kelce throughout the playoffs last season. Kelce was taking the ankles of elite cover corners, but David managed two pass breakups on targets thrown his way in the Super Bowl and showed he can still hang with the best players in the league in the toughest part of his job.
David has been one of the very best linebackers in the game for years. He remains an elite playmaker.
There’s no mistaking it: The Bucs defense would not be what it is today without David. He’s not just an elite playmaker; he’s the heart and soul of the defense.
And people are finally starting to notice.
Better late than never, I guess.