Nebraska linebacker Lavonte David became the first Husker chosen in the 2012 NFL Draft last night, as David was taken at #58 in the second round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs wanted David badly enough that they traded up to get him, trading up from the third round with the Houston Texans, giving up their third and fourth-round picks. The Bucs also received Houston's seventh-round pick in the trade.
Husker fans probably wondered what was going on, as David continued to drop as other linebackers were taken ahead of him. Inside linebacker Luke Kuechly of Boston College went to the Carolina Panthers with the #9 pick in the first round. West Virginia's Bruce Irvin, an outside linebacker like David, went to the Seattle Seahawks at #15. The Chicago Bears drafted outside linebacker Shea McClellin of Boise State at #19. Alabama's Dont'a Hightower, an inside linebacker, went to the New England Patriots.
All of those are understandable first-round picks. Then came the second round.
Two more inside linebackers, Cal's Mychal Kendricks and Utah State's Bobby Wagner, went to the Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks, respectively. When the Tennessee Titans drafted North Carolina's Zach Brown, it was somewhat of a head scratcher.
Finally, it was David's turn, as the 26th pick in the second round, #58 overall.
David's reaction? He's going home:
"I feel great about the opportunity to play in my home state again," said David, who led Nebraska in tackles the last two seasons after transferring from Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College.
The reaction from Tamba Bay fans has been overwhelmingly positive, despite the trade. The reaction is understandable, given that the Bucs might have had the NFL's worst linebacking corps at the end of the 2011 season.
What's next from the Buc's? Perhaps they'll draft Alfonzo Dennard, and give Husker fans a new NFL team to root for.