LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 29: Tight end Brian Linthicum #88 of the Michigan State Spartans has a pass broken up by linebacker Lavonte David #4 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers during their game at Memorial Stadium October 29, 2011 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska defeated Michigan State 24-3. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have used the 26th pick in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft to shore up their linebacking corps, taking linebacker Lavonte David out of Nebraska. The Bucs acquired that pick by trading up from the third round with the Houston Texans, giving up their third (68th overall) and fourth-round (121st overall) pick for the Texans' second-round pick (58th overall), while also receiving the Houston Texans' seventh-round (233rd overall) pick.
The Bucs have certainly addressed their major needs with their first three picks, taking a safety, a running back and now a linebacker - and all three of them should start this year.
Lavonte David brings versatility, speed and instincts to the table, although he's lacking in the size department. One term that keeps coming up when watching David on film is "explosive" - he's an explosive mover who closes on the ball very quickly and moves decisively in the run game and pass game. He should be an immediate three down linebacker who works well in coverage. Overall, his only real knock is his size, which has lead to some questions about him possibly moving to safety. The NFL comparison for David is Derrick Brooks, in terms of style - but obviously, he'll have to be absolutely stellar to come close to Brooks' quality of play.
Stay tuned with Bucs Nation for the rest of the draft today and tomorrow, as we'll have all the news you need. The Bucs have four more picks in the draft, and they could always move back into the third round, so don't assume they're done for the day. The fourth round gets started tomorrow at noon, but we'll have plenty of analysis between then and now, so stay with us.