The second player on this list is practically 1B to Tom Brady’s 1A spot. The entire NFL has underrated Lavonte David for far too long, and being on a team that will play in five primetime games in 2020 will only help David get the recognition that he deserves.
Those who have played sports can attest to this fact, but there is nothing lonelier for an athlete than being the best player on a bad team. No matter how well you play, the outcome is often the same: a loss.
This has primarily been Lavonte David’s experience while in Tampa Bay. The offense has been inconsistent, there have been few above-average defensive pieces alongside David, and the team never made the playoffs.
To make matters worse, Lavonte David was often overlooked for spots on the Pro Bowl team or the All-Pro roster because of how bad the Bucs were, even though David outperformed his competition in almost every way.
Fortunately, the time has come that David will finally step into a point of national prominence. Luke Kuechly, one of David’s most significant competitors for recognition, has retired, and Bobby Wagner took a step back in 2019.
Wagner still was an All-Pro and a Pro Bowler last season, but his 76.1 PFF grade compared to Lavonte David’s 89.2 grade shows that both awards are based on popularity, and David is about to get substantially more popular next season.