Drafting Lavonte David’s Successor

April 11th, 2024

Kentucky LB Trevin Wallace.

This pains Joe to type but it is a real possibility this is Lavonte David’s final season.

The Bucs icon turns 35 in January. He signed a one-year contract. It’s pure hope that David would return for 2025 and still play at the same elite level we all have grown accustomed to.

Father Time is undefeated. So far, David has toyed with Father Time. Sooner or later Father Time will tap on David’s shoulder.

Aside from David, the inside linebackers for the Bucs are, well, thin. K.J. Britt is pretty good against the run but Joe isn’t sure about his pass defense.

After Britt and David, you have what, SirVocea Dennis? What can he do? Nobody knows. Aside from a worthless preseason game, Dennis is nearly a total unknown.

It might be time to get serious about life after David.

Former NFL scout and current director of the Senior Bowl Jim Nagy had a long Twitter thread in which he went on and on about how good of a prospect Kentucky linebacker Trevin Wallace is. Nagy says he plays much quicker than his 40 time and that Wallace is a do-it-all linebacker.

Nagy then uploaded video.

@JimNagy_SB: What do NFL teams look for at LB position? Pretty simple. Guys who can chase, play in space, and cover like this👇. Those ball skills! 👀

Kentucky WLB Trevin Wallace’s best football is still waaaay ahead of him.

Go ahead and read Nagy’s detailed breakdown of Wallace and watch the various videos of Wallace making plays.

Joe decided to check out Wallace in “The Beast” draft guide by Dane Brugler of The Athletic.

SUMMARY: A two-year starter at Kentucky, Wallace played Will linebacker in defensive coordinator Brad White’s 4-2-5 base scheme. The top-ranked recruit in the Wildcats’ 2021 class, he made steady strides each of the last three seasons and ranked top 10 in the SEC with 6.7 tackles per game in 2023. A balanced athlete in space, Wallace has the speed to pursue plays all over the field and is one of the best linebackers in this class at mirroring backs to the sideline when plays flow wide. Though not super instinctive versus the run or pass, he follows basic keys to the spot and has the athletic range to stay on the field on third down. Overall, Wallace has an attractive collection of traits for today’s NFL, however, the parts are better than the whole at this point and pro coaching will need to get him across the finish line. With more seasoning, he has the talent to compete for starting reps.

Now who better to have Wallace hang around if he needs seasoning than David? It was David who took Devin White under his wing and if White didn’t get all full of himself, he may still be here.

Perhaps draft Wallace and tell him to follow David around like a hungry lost puppy.

And if the Bucs do think Wallace is the right guy, Joe is confident that few if any teams have the intel on Wallace as the Bucs will. Liam Coen is now the Bucs’ offensive coordinator, and he faced Wallace daily in practice last year.

This Wallace is a ballhawk, that’s for sure. Even better, he’s used to tracking down SEC speed. Bonus points.

30 Responses to “Drafting Lavonte David’s Successor”

  1. Leopold Stotch Says:

    Either him, Cedric Gray, Trotter Jr. There’s a kid from The U (Miami) that may be good. Later round gem may be Tommy Eichenberg from Ohio State. Omar Spight from LSU (Jason likes those guys) or Edgerin from A&M. I think we’ll go ILB early.

  2. WhatTheBuc Says:

    Wallace is a good day 3 option. He ran very similar times as David in testing. I prefer Cedric Gray but I’d take Wallace.

  3. Kalind Says:

    I think we can wait. Mocks (haha, amirite?) have the two FSU LBs going in the 7th if at all! Kalen DeLoach is a LVD clone. Not saying he’s a future HOFer, but the value super late is incredible

  4. WhatTheBuc Says:

    On another note, Brugler has Junior Colson as his number on LB. He also has no 40 time listed. Colson ran a 40 in 4.77. I respect Brugler but how can the number one LB be as slow as an offensive lineman?

  5. SlyPiratr Says:

    R2 – Cooper

  6. Lt. Dan Says:

    I recall thinking that there was no replacement for Hardy Nickerson. Then along came Derrick Brooks. I recall thinking that there was no replacement for Derrick Brooks. Then along came Lavonte David. I have hope.

  7. Lord Cornelius Says:

    In some CBS 7 round mock from today we take him in R3. The first 2 picks are a dream but I would have gone different routes in R3 / R4

    R1- Laitu Latu Edge
    R2 – Cooper Beebe OG
    R3 – Cam Hart CB (personally would have gone with Devontez Walker / Jalen McMillan / Malik Washington – all great WR options)
    R3 – Trevin Wallace ILB
    R4 – McKInlley Jackson DT (would have gone with RB Blake Corum or Audric Estime who were both available)

    That mock also had Ray Davis in R6. So all over the place kind of on those evaluations

  8. Bucs Guy Says:

    I like Trotter Jr. He has it all and will only get better. Hope he’s still there when the Bucs pick in the 3rd.

  9. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Cedric Gray! Eerily similar production and measurables to LVD.

  10. TomBucsFan Says:

    I already like him more than DW45

  11. Dave Pear Says:

    Our lack of LB depth is shameful. I would also expect some free agent pickups as teams make cuts after the draft.

    LVD is the only LB who can kind of cover a tight end. Todd seems to forget to teach his defense that the tight end is an eligible receiver.

  12. Lou. Says:


    Did the Bucs ever look at playing Devin White at Edge? Seems like pass rushing and run blitzing were his favorite things. Know that there was an ego factor to say the least. But wouldn’t his speed and attitude have melded with that role?

  13. Steven007 Says:

    Lou, White was a great Blitzer at times. But almost all of his successful pass rushing came via blitz’s through gaps. Whenever he encountered an offensive tackle, he was stymied. He needs the element of surprise to be successful past rushing.

  14. ToAd Bowels Says:

    Team needs to leave the draft with 2 LBs, 1 Edge, 1 Dl, 1 CB on defense and 1 WR, 1 IOL and 1 RB

    Also need TE and a S for back up depth which could be a UDFA

  15. Bucnjim Says:

    The first question that needs to be answered before drafting is do they love football or are they just in it for the money? Hard to figure out, but needs to be addressed. White was in it for the money and pouted when he didn’t get it. All the talent in the world is ruined by simple greed.

  16. LouisFriend Says:

    Jeremiah Trotter Jr. Use a 3rd round pick for this guy and Devin White instantly becomes a distant memory.

  17. heyjude Says:

    Yes to Trevin Wallace if he is still there later on.

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    Interesting Joe that Walter Football lists Wallace as an OLB (6’1″ & 244 lbs) with 4.51 speed and projected to go in Rnds 2-3. At that size, seems to me that he’d be a great candidate for taking Devin White’s spot (I too am suspicious of KJ Britt’s pass defense capabilities). Plus it never hurts to have a guy who’s versatile & could play any of the ILB positions.

  19. Pickgrin Says:

    Sir Dennis is already being groomed as LD54’s replacement.

    Dennis will impress when his time comes….

  20. Joe Says:

    Did the Bucs ever look at playing Devin White at Edge?

    Seem to recall he was too small for edge. Could be wrong. Can’t fully remember the reason but the Bucs did toy with the idea.

  21. D Cone Says:

    Players can do certain things along the way to help fight off ‘Father Time’. Where the problem is in that the healing process slows in case of Injuries.

    On plays where David used to make solo tackles, there will become more assists, and the chance of getting taken out by friendly fire will increase.

    Might be the last season with the Bucs but still being a top of the line LB another team will offer him a position if the Bucs don’t and he still wants to play.

  22. DoooshLaRue Says:

    “Liam Coen is now the Bucs’ offensive coordinator, and he faced Wallace daily in practice last year.”


  23. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “This pains Joe to type but it is a real possibility this is Lavonte David’s final season.”
    – Joe

    I was surprised he didn’t retire this year.

  24. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    We need to replace Devin White first. We have a guy ready to step in, but if he works out, odds are that he will replace David when he retires.

  25. catcard202 Says:

    UK’s DC – Brad White has an NFL background (IND) & the 4-2-5 Base D is not necessarily true…It’s a 3-4 Hybrid…Likes versatile big DL (DT/NG/DE) with twitchy length as a stand-up Jack OLB that doesn’t put his hand in the dirt very often (see Josh Allen-JAX UK tape…JJ Weaver-at UK now…6’5″ 260 4.6 guys)…White also uses a Hybrid Safety that comes down into the box as needed….White asks a ton from his (2) ILB, similar to how Bowles D is predicated on ILB making a ton of tackles/shooting gaps & making plays sideline to sideline.

    Trevin Wallace is definitely the kind of ILB that the Bucs can utilize & would be an ideal DW45 replacement/LVD understudy for a yr…Though as a UK FB fan…Opening believe he jumped to the league a year early. Had he stayed in LEX…Wallace is likely the 1st ILB off the board in 2025…The kid makes big time plays at critical moments in games… If Licht can get him in the 3rd-#89/92, it’ll be seen as a steal over the course of his rookie contract.

  26. BUCman Says:

    Edgerrin Cooper!!

  27. JimBobBuc Says:

    I noticed that SVD had lots of snaps in the Saints game while LVD was out. I just rewatched the game. In run support he was not good at all missing a couple tackles at the LOS, took bad angles, and had trouble shedding blocks. In pass defense, Bowles had him in zone most of the time. SVD had good drops, reading them QBs eyes, and was close to makings some plays on the ball. SVD also appeared undersized.

  28. MelvinJunior Says:

    Weird. I was thinking about him a couple of days ago, & was just going to mention it. I wished he had stayed in school another year… I was really bummed by his announcement. It would be SO GREAT if we could get him. I think he will be a STEAL and a heckuva PICK for someone, & I hope it is the Bucs!!!! But, given the range where they are picking currently, it will be pretty tough. He quite possibly, could be one of those guys who ‘skyrocket’ a lot closer to being near the top of the draft. You’ve heard very little about him and it could be entirely deliberate, with these teams intentionally, holding their cards close to their chests. I saw that he was ‘projected’ to go #50 OVERALL, I think it was in NFL.com’s “Chad Rueters” latest mock the other day!? They had T.J. Tampa being selected with the ‘1st-Pick’ in the 3rd Round. It would be real nice being able to pull both of those out along with (either) JPJ or Barton, & Corley!!!! But, I’m sure that would prob be a friggin’ pipe-dream.

  29. Buc1987 Says:

    Bravo JimBob!

    Thanks for the recap.

  30. View from 132 Says:

    What about JTS in that role? He’s a wash as a pass rusher, but maybe he’s out of position. Dude is an athlete.