While the trend of spending high draft picks on 4-3 outside linebackers without great pass-rush ability is going out of style, Lavonte David is still a solid all-around football player with enough athleticism to give him upside.
David flies all over the field with his blend of speed and instincts, and is unafraid to take on blockers and be physical at the point of attack.
He is also a great coverage linebacker, which is becoming more and more of a rarity in today's NFL.
Here is Chad Reuter of CBS Sports.com on David:
Tough player with excellent instincts and quick reaction time, involves himself in many run and pass plays all over the field...Strong in coverage, often used as the only linebacker on the field against spread defenses...Good football work ethic and intelligence. Possesses strong character and humble attitude, called "coach's dream" by Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini.
Early in his career, David has a chance to start on linebacker-needy teams. He would be a great fit as a weak-side linebacker in a Cover 2 scheme because of his athleticism and coverage ability. But running a strict Cover 2 system is really going out of style in the league.
Nonetheless, David is a talented player with plenty of upside who takes his craft seriously, making him a very safe draft pick.
He'll fit in nicely with the young Tampa Bay defense and could be a solid contributor from the very beginning.