TBO.com, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times - breaking news and weather
Thursday, Jul 31, 2014
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Scout did homework on LB David

Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 19, 2013 at 04:40 AM
TAMPA -

While new coach Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik stood at a podium describing their joy in being able to add Nebraska LB Lavonte David in the second round, Seth Turner had every reason to be just as proud.

Turner, a Midwest regional scout for the Buccaneers, spent a lot of time evaluating David as a college prospect.

After Tampa Bay moved up Friday night to grab David, Turner expressed his satisfaction in a video posted on the club website.

"He's just a football player,'' Turner said of David, a prolific tackler who helped Miami's Northwestern High to consecutive state titles in 2006-07. "He's ultra-productive, he's fast and he's very instinctive. You don't even have to love football to like this guy. He's a very good tackler, he's tough and he's great in coverage.''

According to Schiano, David boasts all the qualities the Bucs are looking for at weakside linebacker as a potential replacement for Geno Hayes, who signed with Chicago as a free agent.

Turner said the Bucs were a bit fortunate David was still on the board late in the second round, when Tampa Bay engineered a trade with the Texans to move up 10 spots.

"We thought he'd be gone within the first five or 10 picks of the second round,'' Turner said. "When he was there, I couldn't believe it. It was a no-brainer. He's a perfect fit for what we want our (weakside) linebacker to be.''

Change of pace

After adding Doug Martin in Round 1, the Bucs drafted a backfield burner in the seventh round Saturday.

Utah State's 5-foot-9 Michael Smith brings 4.3 speed and soft hands to the backfield competition. Smith averaged 7.6 yards per carry in part-time duty last year, adding 16 receptions for 181 yards.

Despite splitting time with Robert Turbin, who was drafted by Seattle in the fourth round, Smith reeled off five runs of more than 50 yards last season.

Smith was in Tampa for a visit with Bucs coaches this spring and left thinking he made a positive impression.

"I know they drafted Doug Martin, but I think this is a great opportunity for me,'' Smith said. "I can help create mismatches and I can catch the ball very well, I believe … screens, wheel routes. I'm not selfish.

"When an opportunity came forth at Utah State, I seized it.'

Extra points

In the sixth round, the Lions selected CB Jonte Green, a former standout at St. Petersburg's Lakewood High, where he also ran track. Green registered 64 tackles and one interception last season at New Mexico State. … The Ravens used a fourth-round pick on C Gino Gradkowski, younger brother of former Bucs QB Bruce Gradkowski.

Ira Kaufman

Comments