Lavonte David, OLB, Nebraska
6-foot-0 1-2, 233 pounds
Draft projection: Second round
Lowdown: David is a sideline to sideline tackler with outstanding range and the ability to be a nickel coverage linebacker in the NFL. After spending two years in junior college, he starred in 27 straight games for the Cornhuskers over the past two years. As a junior, he had a school-record 152 tackles (15 for loss) and six sacks. As a senior he had 133 tackles and 5.5 sacks. He has great instincts and he’s tough. The one concern on him is he's not real big. He's not a prospect for a 3-4 scheme. Because of his size, some scouts have debated whether he should be used at safety, although that seems unlikely.
All-Star High: David went to Northwestern High School in Miami, which won the 2007 national prep title. Northwestern has produced dozens of top college players and more than a dozen NFL players, including Antonio Bryant, Tony Martin, Vernon Carey, Marvin Jones, Brett Perriman and Melvin Bratton. Northwestern will have at least four alumni drafted this year alone. Besides David, they include Miami linebacker Sean Spence, Miami receiver Tommy Streeter, Miami defensive tackle Marcus Forston and perhaps Miami quarterback Jacory Harris. New York Yankees great Mickey Rivers is a Northwestern product, too.
ESPN analyst Mel Kiper on David: “Fun player to watch. David has some of the best tape of any player in the draft, but size was always a question. He weighed 233 but showed a lot of burst and quickness in workouts; it did wonders for his stock. A tackling machine, he's a sideline-to-sideline linebacker who simply makes plays.”