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Lavonte David scouting report

Lavonte David OLB Nebraska #4
Ht: 6’1″

Wt: 225

An impressive natural athlete. Looks very fluid in coverage; quick footwork and impressive change-of-direction ability for a linebacker. Plenty of experience dropping into man coverage. Has the speed and athleticism to stick with most running backs and tight ends. Occasionally lines up vs slot receivers. Above-average straight-line speed. Looks fluid dropping into zone coverage; does a nice job staying in his zone and tracking the quarterback’s eyes. Generally takes good angles in pursuit. Very reliable tackler. Experience lining up inside and outside in Nebraska 4-3 defense.
Undersized for some defensive schemes. Lack of height will hurt his ability to match up with some tight ends. Struggles to shed blocks consistently; swallowed up by offensive linemen and fullbacks once he’s engaged. Reliable tackler, but lacks the strength to consistently quickly bring ball carriers to the ground; often stands them up as others swarm to the ball to bring him down. Very little experience blitzing, but likely won’t be asked to blitz often in NFL either due to lack of size. Lacks the ball skills to be a playmaker in coverage.
David is an elite coverage linebacker, however, he is a liability against the run. For that reason, he will receive a wide range of grades from teams based on how his skill set fits their system. His athleticism makes him a prototypical Tampa Two linebacker, and could be a star in that system. He could also make a transition to inside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, but may not be a three-down linebacker in that scheme due to his struggles against the run. Even if he is only a part-time player, he has enough value to warrant a 2nd-round pick. This is a pass-first league, so more often that not he’ll be an asset on the field.
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