In his first two-round NFL Mock Draft of 2012 ESPN's Todd McShay added a name to the list of first-round possibilities for the New York Giants that I had not come across before. McShay selected Nebraska outside linebacker LaVonte David for the Giants, saying that David "could be plugged in on the weak side and allow Michael Boley to move to the middle."
Interesting, since moving Boley to the middle is a possibility that has been raised within the last week or so. Let's use today's 2012 NFL Draft Prospect Profile to take a closer look at David, a 6-foot-1, 233-pound weakside linebacker.
Pro Football Weekly calls David a "fast-flowing, run-and-hit "Mike" linebacker best suited to move to the weak side in the pros. Compensates for his lack of size with tremendous football-playing instincts, energy and competitiveness. Lack of size restricts to 4-3 front only."
I'm intrigued, especially since some reports consider him a safety/linebacker 'tweener, which is actually a good skill set for a Perry Fewell defense. More after the jump.NFL.com says:
"Has enormous tackle production throughout his two years at Nebraska, posting over 260 tackles in his short time there. Instincts are the key to his game, as he always seems to be in the middle of action whether rushing the passer or covering tight ends. Lavonte will need to stay off blocks at the next level and either gain strength to shed linemen or continue to play instinctually to stay free entirely. His athletic ability allows him to play loose and fly around, and he should go in the late first round to a team who loves undersized, athletic linebackers."
CBS Sports says:
"David is Mr. Max, as in maximum effort, attitude, results and, unfortunately, his size, which he cannot increase any more. He reaffirmed his athleticism at the combine with an unofficial 40 time of 4.65 and an explosive vertical jump of 36.5 inches. NFL scouts aren't sure whether to play him at linebacker or strong safety, but somebody will draft him and put him on the field somewhere, and he will do what he has always done - tackle people. He worked hard to get this far, so being told he is too small won't faze him."
NFL Draft Preview: Lavonte David (via FoxSports)
LaVonte David Profile
40 time: 4.59
2011 Stats: 133 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 2 passes defensed