The Sports Daily > Vikings Digital Diaries
2012 Who Ya Gonna Draft? – Lavonte David

PJD is on vacation. During this time, we’ve decided we’ll take a quick look at potential Minnesota Vikings draft picks for the second or later rounds. With so many needs and so many draft picks to get this team back to a place where we can at least pretend they are respectable, we’ll have plenty of ground to cover. Let us know what you think of each prospect in the comments, and whether or not they’d be a good fit or impact player, and of course if you can think of a funny nickname for them.

Today, we look at Nebraska outside linebacker Lavonte David, part two of the “Swag Patrol” with Nebraska cornerback, Alfonzo Dennard.

From ESPN’s analysis, which is getting pretty repetative even for me:

Overall Football Traits

Production 2 (2008-’09): Fort Scott Community College in Kansas. 2010: (14/14) – 152-15-6
Height-Weight-Speed 3 Below average height and weight but above average top-end speed.
Durability 2 Started all 14 games last year and durability is not a concern at this point.
Intangibles 2 Named team’s defensive MVP in 2010. Hard worker that spent the time in the film room to pick up Nebraska’s scheme and has added 10 pounds to frame since arriving at Nebraska. Academic issues forced him to attend community college coming out of high school.

1 = Exceptional2 = Above average3 = Average4 = Below average5 = Marginal

Outside Linebacker Specific Traits

Instincts/Recognition 3 Disciplined and stayed home against misdirection. Read back and blocks though not always at the same time. Failed to pick up blockers when got caught tracking the ball and failed to locate ball when got caught locking in on lead blocker. Did a nice job of locating and picking up crossers in underneath zone coverage. Stayed at linebacker depth when matched up in man coverage and back stayed in to help out in pass protection.
Take-on Skills 3 “Above average lateral mobility and can slip blocks in phone booth. Upper body strength appeared above average on film. Locked out and controlled lead blockers. However, size is an issue and got overwhelmed by offensive linemen when lined up between the tackles and didn’t win with quickness. “
Range vs. Run 2 “Above average initial quickness and made it difficult for backs to turn the corner when teams run to his side. Good motor and can chase backs down from behind. However, pursuit angles have to be sound when chasing backs across the field. “
Tackling 2 “Squared up and drove legs when met running back in the hole. Wrapped ball carriers’ legs and limited production after contact. Tried the rip the ball out of ball carrier’s hands. Only time gets into trouble here is when he’s unable to get into sound position. For example, overran a play in the second quarter of 2010 Texas A&M game and failed to make arm tackle but only missed tackle during film evaluation. “
3rd Down Capabilities 2 Footwork could be crisper at times but a three-down linebacker that showed above average man-to-man cover skills matching up with Oklahoma State’s backs in 2010. Turn and ran with slot receiver in 2010 Texas A&M game. Can reach in with left hand and deflect ball without getting flagged. Took a split second too long to locate the ball however and not a playmaker at this point. Doesn’t show a variety of pass rush moves but got to the quarterback with second effort and showed above average closing speed when got a clear path.

1 = Exceptional2 = Above average3 = Average4 = Below average5 = Marginal

As we’ve already established, I love Nebraska football more than I love my own mother. It is no joke. As a stupid cornhead I will tell you this about Lavonte David: In the two years he spent at Nebraska, transferring as a JUCO player, he EASILY became one of the best linebackers to ever play at Nebraska, and that’s saying something. In fact, I almost might be understating his value. Rather, he may end up being of the best overall defenders at Nebraska, and that puts him in the conversation with greats Ndamukong Suh, Grant Wistron, the Peters brothers, and many, many, many others. David is that good, and I would – no joke – shit my pants if he became a Viking. The only reason he probably won’t is because he’d play a position that the Vikings already seem to have players they like committed to. David would be an OUTSTANDING outside linebacker in a 4-3 defense, being able to cover a tight end with ease, shadow running backs in the flats, cause turn overs like a true playmaker, GREENWAY, and wrack up more tackles than Jeremy Lin could count to. Unfortunately, he’d be a perfect replacement to Chad Greenway. In fact, he might – in two or three years – be better than Chad Greenway, in my opinion, which is exactly why we probably won’t draft him, since we just signed a white guy to a huge contract. WHAT. THE. HELL.

David would be a HUGE get in the 3rd round for the Vikings, and could take Erin Henderson’s spot or back-up Greenway, if the Vikings were smart. Haha, jokes on all of us, because Rick Spielman is running this draft, and I want to tear my toe nails off because of it. Kill me.