Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Lavonte David Finishes 5th in NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Voting

Buccaneers rookie linebacker Lavonte David was awarded two votes in the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year voting. The award was won by Luke Kuechly. David finished his rookie season with 112 solo tackles and 27 assisted stops. He also totaled 19 tackles for a total loss of 44 yards, and had 2 sacks and 1 interception. Kuechly had fewer solo tackles and fewer tackles for loss, but had more assisted tackles, and was perceived to have more drastically improved his team’s defense.

David was an impact player right out of the gate for the Buccaneers, tallying 9 tackles for loss in his first 6 games. He was a key force in the Buccaneers defense that ranked first against the run, and made an instant impression on Buccaneers fans, who liken him to a young Derrick Brooks. While he has a way to go to equal Mr. Brooks, Lavonte has begun his career in impressive fashion. The 58th overall selection  of the 2012 NFL Draft proved to be one of the 10 best rookies in the NFL this past season, and he will almost certainly continue to be a key player on the Buccaneer defense for years to come. I think he deserved a bit more respect from voters, and should have finished higher in the final voting.

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  • Russ Miller

    It’ll be hard for any Bucs defender who isn’t a defensive tackle to win an award for anything until the pass defense is ranked something that isn’t dead last. It’s good to see he got a couple of votes, and also good that the Bucs don’t have to kick themselves over missing out on the four who finished ahead of them. Martin, David, and Barron are all success stories and good fits so far, and I wouldn’t trade any of them for Jenkins, Hayward, Kuechly, or Wagner.