Life After Lavonte David

April 21st, 2024

Clemson linebacker Jeremiah Trotter.

There is no such thing as a small linebacker with the Bucs.

Joe was recently listening to an NFL podcast where the analysts sort of dismissed Clemson starting linebacker Jeremiah Trotter as small.

Yes, really.

A projected fourth-round draft pick this week, Trotter was listed at the combine at 6-0, 228 pounds. That’s small for an NFL linebacker. Well, the Bucs have an excellent history with smallish linebackers.

Derrick Brooks told many teams he wouldn’t play for them because they wanted him as a safety when he came out of Florida State.

Brooks was 6-0, 229.

Lavonte David was only five pounds heavier than Trotter and the same height when David came out of Nebraska.

Trotter also has an excellent history. His dad is four-time Pro Bowler Jeremiah Trotter, who was on the 2007 Bucs roster near the end of his career.

The fact Trotter is so smart and can read plays so quickly, he sure sounds similar to Brooks and David. So Joe checked out what Dane Brugler of The Athletic had to type about Trotter in his draft guide, “The Beast.”

SUMMARY: … Trotter was the Mike linebacker in defensive coordinator Wes Goodwin’s 4-2-5 base scheme. … he arrived with high expectations and responded by leading the Tigers in tackles, tackles for loss and sacks as both a sophomore and junior. The son of a physically imposing Pro Bowl linebacker, the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree with Trotter’s active play style and thumping intent, although he needs to better use his hands to maintain block separation. His lower-body tightness can be exposed versus shifty runners, and his coverage deficiencies (especially in man-to-man looks) will be tough to overcome. Overall, Trotter is an instinctive hammer with the pedigree and toughness that will endear him to NFL coaches, although his limitations in space versus NFL athletes could restrict his next level role. His optimistic projection is that he can be like Chicago Bears’ linebacker T.J. Edwards.

Trotter is largely projected to be a fourth-round draft pick. Overall, Brugler believes Trotter is the seventh-ranked linebacker in the draft.

As much as Joe hates to type the following, sooner or later the Bucs must prepare for life after David. Why not start now by drafting Trotter?

44 Responses to “Life After Lavonte David”

  1. Hodad Says:

    I thought we drafted Sir Dennis to replace David?

  2. Trey Says:

    Get him! I wonder if he started in D Whites place how difficult it would be to change to L David’s position after David retires?

  3. Joe in Michigan Says:

    You lost me at “coverage deficiencies”. I’d like the anti-Devin White, an ILB who can cover.

  4. SB~LV Says:

    The Bucs should just put Lavonte David’s name in the ROH now before the season starts.
    They can get around the the formal ceremony after he retires!

  5. LouisFriend Says:

    Other draft sites like NFL draft buzz say his coverage abilities are above average. I don’t trust any of them when it comes to scouting defenders since the analyst themselves get the final word.

    That being said, he’s got a father working as a personal coach, demonstrated production and seems to be in the right place at the right time on the field. Doesn’t that sound like a Bucs All-Pro safety with an NFL dad who was declared small by NFL standards?

  6. Crickett Baker Says:

    He even wears #54! I always listen when Cosell speaks.

  7. Mort Says:

    One of my draft crushes. No way he’s there in 4. And I’m totally cool taking him in the 3rd if he’s still there. Massively want this dude on the Bucs.

  8. Usfbuc Says:

    Payton Wilson is the guy to me in this draft.

  9. JimBobBuc Says:

    Yeh we need to find a backup to LVD on the sad day that he retires. SVD played the whole game against the Saints in NOLA. He didn’t make many plays, was OK with his drops in coverage, but seemed lost against the run, and missed a few easy tackles. Not sure he is the guy.

  10. Pickgrin Says:

    “Voss” Dennis is the intended replacement for LD54. (thats what his coaches and teammates call him)

    The Bucs are going to have Voss compete with Britt for the starting spot at Mike heading into this season – but the intention all along has been that Dennis will replace David on the weak side whenever he is unavailable or retires….

    My belief ever since we drafted him is that Dennis will be a good NFL LBer in time and will surpass expectations (due do his 5th rd draft status) by a mile.

    Trotter Jr might well be a target of the Bucs in rd 4 if he is available. He played Mike at Clemson so they would probably keep him there in year 1 as the 2nd option off the bench and let him develop defensively primarily behind the scenes (like Voss did last year) and play special teams while he’s learning the Defense.

    The Bucs seem to like Clemson defenders based on past draft history.

  11. Joe Says:

    I thought we drafted Sir Dennis to replace David?

    He’s the only rookie that didn’t do a dang thing last year. Makes Joe wonder.

  12. Pickgrin Says:

    Wow Joseph.

    Did you really just edit out the line from my post saying your main competitor ran a nice article on Dennis the other day?

    Thats messed up bro.

  13. geno711 Says:

    I am with Joe on this one, Dennis did not produce as a Rookie last year.

    I think Lichts draft strategy last year was to get a little bit older players who needed less time to be ready for the pro’s both in physicality and mental preparation,

    Trotter is 2 and 1/2 years younger than Dennis and seems to me much more likely to grow into a long term linebacker for the Bucs.

  14. Beeej Says:

    We could get him and the McCaffrey kid, that way we’d have THREE second gen stars

  15. Defense Rules Says:

    Might be a radical thought, but guys drafted in Rnds 1 & 2 seem to more often find their way into the NFL’s ‘upper crust’. Those drafted in Rnds 3 & 4 seem to be more the steady, ‘middle crust’ while those drafted in later rounds or not drafted at all seem to be a lot more hit-or-miss.

    There was an interesting study done back in 2015 titled ‘Round And Longevity: Another Look At NFL Career Length’ that looked at over 2600 players drafted on the 1995-2007 time period. Players drafted in Rnds 1 & 2 look like they averaged about 7 years career, give or take half a year. Those drafted in Rnds 3 & 4 averaged about 5 – 5.5 years, while later round picks averaged about 4 – 4.5 years. Admittedly things may have changed somewhat since that study was done, but I’ve got a hunch that the relationships between round-drafted would generally still hold true today.

    If you look at the Bucs in our own Ring of Honor, quite a few were Rnds 1 & 2 picks, although Rnds 3 & 4 seem to do pretty well too. Six of those in our ROH were Rnd 1 or 2 picks. Three were Rnd 3 picks. None were drafted below Rnd 3.

    Guess that’s why I tend to see the Top-3 rounds as being of utmost importance. Yes good players come out below that, but saying that a 5th rounder (like Dennis) is gonna replace LVD (a Rnd 2 pick) is oftentimes just wishful thinking IMO.

  16. Bucs Guy Says:

    Get him in the 3rd if he’s available. I’m a little concerned Philly will take him in the 3rd. Let KJ, SVD and Trotter start battling it out now to see who are the future 2 starters when LVD retires.

  17. MadMax Says:

    YES!!!!! thank you Joes

  18. A Bucs Fan Says:

    He may be a solid option! I still like Cedric Gray best. His production & combine were almost identical to LVD.

  19. NJbucs23 Says:

    No on Trotter !!

    I remember sitting in the orthopedic office with him and his dad Jeremiah across from us. South jersey area. Great kid. But no on drafting him

  20. catcard202 Says:

    I like Trevin Wallace best….Super Athletic and well rounded vs the run & pass. Perfect DW45 replacement…W/ SVD as next man up to replace LVD in 2025.

  21. adam from ny Says:

    beware drafting clemson players…


    they never work out for us

  22. Dave Pear Says:

    Love the sound of this Trotter. Also the McCaffery kid for WR. Love the human genome.

    Now if I could just figure out where I set my beers.

  23. adam from ny Says:

    the only thing dennis and LVD have in common is you can flip there names around and think that’s how it’s supposed to be…

    what i’m saying is you can use their last names as their first names, and their first names as their last names, and you would think it sounded more correct…

    dennis sirvocea
    david lavonte

    see what i mean ?

    most, if asked to place a 500 dollar bet on what their correct name was – would put money on the way i just typed it above as being the correct way…..even though it’s the other way around…

    yeah i have odd thoughts…it’s true…but think about that for a sec…

    so yeah, that’s all dennis really has in common with LVD…

    also when on the field last year, he didn’t do sh!t…and of course you give him the rookie pass – and let him develop – and don’t just toss him under the bus…

    but he left a lot to be desired when on the field last year…he wasn’t all that impressive…meh at best – i watched…

    now LVD on the other hand, is a roh dude and fuggin’ with hof talk these days because he’s a beast…

    dennis has a loooong way to go when it comes to filling lavonte’s shoes…


  24. 1#bucsfan Says:

    It will be a very sad day when LVD retires. I will cry. Lol. SVD needs some time but will come around very promising in the off-season did get injured and fell behind. Dude is a ball hawk. We need 2 more inside LBs. For life after LVD and for injury and with the diva gone. Britt filled in nice but I don’t think he’s a long term answer. SVD paired with trotter Jr both learning from LVD would be a good match up. Obviously this is all theoretically.

  25. BucsFan Says:


  26. Dave Pear Says:

    Check out Mohgandhobchik Cindy. Might be able to help the Bucs.

  27. Cobraboy Says:

    Brooks played OLB in a 4-3 at 225+

    I do not think an ILB in a 3-4 can play effectively at 225 unless he’s a fast Superman.

    Plus, Clemson.

  28. Jerseybuc Says:

    Eagles fans are dying for him

  29. BUCman Says:

    Edgerrin Cooper is a stud! Jason should seriously consider trading up in the second round to get him. He is flying under the radar because he is an interior linebacker but has first round talent. Trotter has good instincts but is just too slow and will be similar to Britt. Definitely not an upgrade.

  30. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Our LB who couldn’t cover a runny nose went to the Philthy Eagles. We don’t need another without good coverage instincts

  31. adam from ny Says:

    on a very serious note, beware players out of clemson…

    not saying they’re bad or anything…

    but for many many years going way back, we’ve simply had really bad luck when drafting out of this big powerhouse…

    clemson just never really works out for us…

    and if trotter really has speed like britt, then what’s the point in going that route…?

    it’s almost like clemson equals a jinx for us, and i wouldn’t say that about any other school…

    so yeah, clemson would be our one “jinx” school imho…

    everything else i’d say is a go

  32. gotbbucs Says:

    No more undersized linebackers. Quit acting like every single 6’0″ -220 lb LB is going to be the next Derrick Brooks or Lavonte David. We caught lightning in a bottle twice. Let’s not tempt fate.

    6’2″ – 235 lb minimum

  33. Mr. Editor Says:

    The Bucs can draft him, put him on special teams, and make him learn from Lavonte David while he hits the weight room and downs more protein shakes to add a few pounds. Not every draft pick will start right away, particularly if they are projected for the fourth round. Under pop star Mark Dominick’s watch, the Bucs drafted for special teams directly after the first round.

  34. Stanglassman Says:

    I’m with you CatCard. I really like Trevin Wallace too he’s probably going to be their pick with one of their 3rd rounders. I like Trotter but he would cost them their 2nd round pick or a big move up in the 3rd. Most scouts have him going late 2nd-early 3rd. Trotter probably won’t be around at pick#92. Wallace is really young and probably won’t start right away but has a higher ceiling. Cohen is going to have great intel on Wallace. If the Bucs pick him we will know Lium banged the table for him.

  35. MadMax Says:

    Alright, update to my thoughts, we trade back twice, then….

    Frazier (because we have the ammo to trade up into the 2nd for more)
    Estime/Kamara/Trotter jr/Sweat….with our 3rds and a traded up 4th

  36. Dave Pear Says:

    Sometimes a great burger is better than anything.

  37. SB Says:

    “NJbucs23 Says:
    April 21st, 2024 at 1:16 pm
    No on Trotter !!

    I remember sitting in the orthopedic office with him and his dad Jeremiah across from us. South jersey area. Great kid. But no on drafting him


    I remember sitting across the restaurant from Joe Biden.
    No to voting for him.

  38. MadMax Says:

    i like chicken wings and sushi….and papaya salad, my ex makes it the best….and her own grinded peanut sauce….LOL dont get me started

  39. Pewter Power Says:

    Only information!!! No one is saying draft him. Buttt isn’t Britt on the last year of his contract??? I think we could do better

  40. Chris Says:

    Man I really miss Beckwith that dude was a thumper. So unfortunate what happened

  41. ElioT Says:

    Mobile friendly this site is not.

  42. Admiral Redbeard Says:

    “and his coverage deficiencies (especially in man-to-man looks) will be tough to overcome.”. Correct me if I’m wrong, Joes, but wasn’t this the #1 issue with the recently departed Devin White?

  43. Dano 407 Says:

    Coming from a Noles fan, I think Trotter is a stud.

  44. toad bowels Says:

    Licht and Bucs should draft a LB for depth and evenual LVD replacement in the 3rd or 4th round

    Payton Wilson, Edgerrin Cooper, Junor Colson,Jerimiah Trotter Jr or Trevin Wallace