Rookie Voting Disrespected Lavonte DavidFebruary 3rd, 2013
Lavonte David had the second-most solo tackles in the NFL last season, and the most by a rookie. Plus, he made his team’s defensive calls from Day 1, and he was among the best in the NFL at tackles for a loss while being a force on the league’s No. 1 run defense.
David also managed a couple of sacks and a pick and played on all three downs.
So Joe was stunned to see David squeak into fifth place in the Defensive Rookie of the Year voting unveiled last night. Deserving Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly won the award. However, David finished behind Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner, Packers cornerback Casey Hayward and Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins, respectively.
For Joe, it was a travesty that the Associated Press team of writer voters gave Wagner 11 votes to David’s two.
Unlike David, Wagner did not make his team’s defensive calls all season, and he was off the field in passing situations for a chunk of the year. And Wagner didn’t have David’s solo tackle numbers. Wagner was a stud rookie, but it’s nothing more than ignorance that would have led a writer to vote for Wagner over David.
Joe suspects the horrendous Bucs’ pass defense numbers, combined with Seattle being a winning team, led to David losing the perception game among national writers who hardly studying rookies intricately. Regardless, that doesn’t take away from David getting disrespected.