4. LB Lavonte David
He continues to be one of the most consistent defensive players in the league. Yet, linebacker Lavonte David hasn’t received much in terms of personal accolades. He was named All-Pro in his second season in 2013 and two years later, he earned his first and only Pro Bowl invitation. The 2012 second-round pick from the University of Nebraska may be more appreciated after his playing days are over. Given his 2023 performance, that doesn’t appear to be anytime soon.
David led the Buccaneers with 133 tackles (17 for losses) in the regular season. He also finished with 4.5 sacks, knocked down five passes and forced a fumble. In the playoff split with the Eagles and Lions, he also led the club with a combined 18 stops, totaled one sack and forced a fumble. Tampa Bay’s run defense, a mediocre 15th in the NFL in 2022, improved to the point that only four teams in the league gave up fewer yards on the ground than Todd Bowles’ squad this season.
His regular-season resume includes 100-plus tackles in 10-of-12 campaigns, a dozen touchdowns and 18 fumble recoveries. He’s returned three of those takeaways for scores, and he’s also racked up 33.5 sacks. It would be a surprise if David wasn’t back for a 13th season with the franchise.