NFC South Top 25: No. 20

We continue my NFC South Top 25 with No. 20:

Lavonte David, linebacker, Buccaneers

What he did in 2012: As a rookie, he was in on 139 tackles with two sacks and an interception while starting 16 games.

Why he’s No. 20 in 2013: It didn’t take David long to emerge as a defensive leader last year and I expect him to be even better in his second season. I chuckled when some people compared David to Derrick Brooks prior to last season. I’m not laughing now. It still may be a little premature to put David in the same class as a guy who will be heading for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But there are a lot of similarities between the two. The next step for David is to become more of a playmaker. I expect that to start happening this year and that’s why David is in my top 20.

For previous entries in the NFC South top 25, click here.