Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Lavonte David Earns Spot on NFL.com's All-Decade Team

Some recognition for the league’s most underrated player comes on the NFL’s All-Decade team.


Well, he may not have made the Pro Bowl (this year, last year, any other year except 2015), but inside linebacker Lavonte David is getting some recognition on the NFL's All-Decade team. He's one of three inside linebackers to make the team, alongside Seattle's Bobby Wagner and Carolina's Luke Kuechly.

"David may be the most underrated player on this entire list, earning only one Pro Bowl selection and one first-team All-Pro despite topping all off-the-ball linebackers in forced fumbles (20), tackles for loss (116) and solo tackles (709)," wrote NFL.com's Chris Wesseling. "Aside from David, the leader list in those first two categories is populated by the league's dominant edge rushers, such as Miller and Watt."

Thank you, Chris. I would say I couldn't say it better myself, which is true, but only because I've echoed the exact same sentiment.

David has the most solo tackles of any player in the league since 2012 with 717, as of this past Saturday. His next tackle will be his 1,000th combined tackle. David's 116 tackles for loss are made even more impressive when you realize they rank second to only J.J. Watt since David entered the league in 2012. And Watt isn't flying around in coverage or going sideline to sideline like David on top of penetrating the backfield. David is one of just two players in NFL history, former Chicago Bear Brian Urlacher being the other, to record over 800 tackles, over 20 sacks and more than 10 interceptions in his first seven seasons. He's the only active player with 20+ sacks and 10+ interceptions since he got into the league. David also has the most fumble recoveries of any player in that span with 14.

Safe to say, David was an absolute steal in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Nebraska. At the start of the decade, David wore the red and white, starting all 27 games he played for the Huskers. He was a 2011 All-America and named the Butkus-Fitzgerald Big Ten Linebacker of the Year and Nebraska team MVP. In 2010, he set a school record with 152 tackles.

David closes out the decade in his sixth year of being voted a team captain and a defensive stalwart for the Buccaneers. He's got 10 tackles for loss this season, more than both Wagner and Kuechly. He's also recorded 73 solo tackles, 115 combined, forced two fumbles, recorded one interception, one sack and tallied seven quarterback hits.

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