It is no secret that the Detroit Lions could use an outside linebacker to replace Ashlee Palmer. It is also been repetitively made known that the Lions would like to add a pass rusher. It was widely thought that someone like a Khalil Mack would be a good fit because he’s a bigger outside linebacker who excels as a pass rusher. The big question though is whether Mack would even make it out of the top five. Some feel he is better than Jadeveon Clowney. Some feel he is the second best player in the draft. The big question is, who else is out there for the Detroit Lions should they choose not to select Mack?
That question is answered simply by saying Kyle Van Noy. Van Noy, who played at BYU with current Detroit Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah, is considered one of the best linebackers in the second to third round of the draft. Fans speculate he will be taken by any number of teams in the second round. The NFL.com website shows him projected in rounds three to four. Either way, Kyle Van Noy is on everybody’s draft board.
Van Noy stands six foot three and weighs two hundred and forty three pounds. He played in a 3-4 defense at BYU but is projected to fit in a 4-3 as an outside linebacker. His showing at the combine was solid but not spectacular. He posted a forty time of 4.71 which did not put him in the top five at his position. In fact, he did not place in the top five at his position in any of the combine events. His bench press numbers also were disappointing as he only put up twenty one repetitions. The combine could have helped him into the first round if he did well, but even though he did average, it did not hurt his stock.
Production is key for most players trying to enter into the NFL, and Kyle Van Noy‘s production did not disappoint. In 2013, he posted seventy tackles, four sacks, two interceptions and a safety. Of those seventy tackles, almost eighteen of them were for a loss which shows he is a tendency to get to the ball quickly. To add to that, he has a good build for a linebacker, he is quick and has good closing speed. He has shown to be a good pass rusher both into the pocket and outside of the pocket. He is also very smart when it comes to the game.
Like all players, Van Noy has his weaknesses. The two bigger one are his health and his drinking. Kyle faced problems with injuries throughout college, and while they were not major enough to cause him to miss a full season, they were major enough to cause concern about his durability at the next level. Early in his career he had issues with drinking and driving. He was charged with one DUI and one eluding police while possessing alcohol. While his coach kept him from losing his scholarship, and he appears to have turned his life around, that will always be a concern especially with NFL players commonly getting in trouble for DUI related behavior. His on the field weaknesses are that he only has average instincts and average motor. He is a poor tackler and does not use good form. Also, as I mentioned earlier, he could stand to get stronger, especially to compete in the NFL.
The bottom line here is that if he can stay healthy and if he can stay out of trouble, he could be a good addition and potentially compete for the outside linebacker position. With his pass rush skills, he could fit what defensive coordinator Teryl Austin wants in his scheme. The Detroit Lions have already brought him in for a visit, and he proclaimed on twitter that it was nice to be around family, a reference to Ansah. He would be a great addition in the third round if he is still there, although I would be concerned with his red flags if chosen in the second round.