Buccaneers have two clear DPOY candidates on their roster
By Rob Leeds
The numbers never lie.
The last inside linebacker to win DPOY was Luke Kuechly in 2013. Kuechly showed up all over the stat sheet and finished the year with incredible numbers that backed up his versatility as a player.
Here are Kuechly’s stats in relation to the current projection for the Buccaneers’ frontrunner to win the award:
Player A: Player B:
4 interceptions 0 interceptions
2.0 sacks 9.0 sacks
156 tackles 139 tackles
10 tackles for loss 14 tackles for loss
7 passes defended 5 passes defended
0 forced fumbles 2 forced fumbles
2 quarterback hits 14 quarterback hits
Just from looking at these numbers, it is clear that both players have different skillsets, but their ability is undeniable. Player A has the advantage in interceptions, tackles, and passes defended, while player B has the edge in sacks, tackles for loss, forced fumbles, and quarterback hits.
As most fans probably recognize, Player A is Kuechly, and Player B is Devin White. Kuechly’s main selling point was his tackles and versatility, but White is not far off in this scenario. If Kuchely was known for his abilities against the pass, White is far better at getting into the backfield against everyone.
While White’s stats are extremely impressive, they will be hard to maintain over the second half of the season. It won’t be impossible for the second-year captain to reach nine sacks, but that number is tough to reach for anyone. If White can add some interceptions and tackles to the bunch at the expense of some sacks, his stats hold up exceptionally well with Kuechly’s.
Lavonte David falls somewhere in the middle between these two statistically. David is currently pegged to finish the season with two interceptions, 3.0 sacks, 126 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, seven passes defended, two forced fumbles, and seven quarterback hits.
David’s versatility mixed with his name recognition could help out to a large degree in the race to gain DPOY votes.