Senior Bowl: Size Matters for Lavonte David

LB Lavonte David (Eric Francis/Getty)

Nebraksa LB Lavonte David is familiar with how the size-speed ratio typically works -- as size goes up, speed goes down. He has a two-month window to disprove that theory and he is off to a good start as he looks to prove he has both the size and the speed to make an impact in the NFL.

When the Senior Bowl committee handed out rosters on Sunday, Lavonte David was listed at 210 lbs. That's only 5 lbs. heavier than Alfonzo Dennard, the Nebraska safety who was also at the Senior Bowl (although Dennard had to bow out due to a hip injury).

By Monday David had a better outlook. At the official weigh-in he tipped the scales at 225 lbs. That's much more respectable ... and he's not done yet. His goal is to get up to 233 lbs. by the time the NFL Combine rolls around next month. And he doesn't plan to lose a lick of speed in the process, something he aims to prove in the 40-yard dash.

"I'm trying to show scouts that I'm a talented player, doing the same things I did in college -- cover a lot, fill holes, things like that. I'm trying to use the Senior Bowl to show I can do the same things on the next level," David said.

David believes he has added value because he can play on every down and in every system. He has experience working in 4-3 and 3-4 schemes and feels he can be effective in both.


LB Lavonte David
"We played a 3-4 defense at times at Nebraska last season," David said. "I'm really comfortable with it and I know the alignments and everything. I'm 225 lbs. now but I'm still adding on weight."

David has impressed scouts who run both systems. Carlos Polk, an assitant coach with the San Diego Chargers (who run a 3-4) and a former Nebraksa linebacker himself, walked away impressed by David's performance.

"He's a good player," Polk said. "He can move around really well."

Also working in David's favor is his ability to contribute on special teams, which is where most rookie linebackers cut their teeth. David has more than just want-to ... he has experience.

David was the starting right tackle on Nebraska's punt team. He was also on second team kickoff and second team punt return.

"It's something I enjoy doing," he said. "I feel like I have the technique down pat. We have a great coach in Coach J.P. (John Papuchis). We really placed a big emphasis on special teams and I feel I can take that attitude with me to the next level."

Whether on defense or special teams, David has stood out in Mobile, Ala., for his energy and his ability to be around the football. His final objective is to cap off the week with a strong showing in the Senior Bowl game on Saturday, where he can show he is plenty big to play with the big boys.

"I'm trying to impress every chance I get," he said. "You have the best of the best out here. I'm just trying to prove myself and show I can play on the next level."



For more on Nebraska LB Lavonte David, check out this exclusive video feature.




Michael Lombardo is a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 16 years and covered the team since 2003. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.

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