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The NFL’s best outside linebackers, No. 2: Lavonte David

On his game, David is a free-flowing missile and a standout playmaker in all phases.
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David tweeted through it when Tampa Bay fired Lovie Smith in January: “This is stupid, we can’t even have a consistent coach,” he wrote, moments later adding, “Outside looking in, y’all wouldn’t even understand how great of a coach/person he is.” Can’t blame him for being frustrated by another change at the top, but he could stand to benefit from the Smith-for-Dirk Koetter (and defensive coordinator Mike Smith) switch. While David turned it on over the second half of 2015, he never looked as comfortable under Lovie Smith as he did during his brilliant, All-Pro seasons of 2013, with Greg Schiano at the helm. On his game, David is a free-flowing missile and a standout playmaker in all phases. Despite a sluggish beginning last season, David still earned himself a Pro Bowl trip with three picks, 3.0 sacks, 19 pass breakups and nearly 150 tackles. Few defenders—not just linebackers—can cover the amount of ground David can while arriving with force.