Out of all the linebackers in the draft, you don’t see Kyle Van Noy going in the first round in too many mock drafts. The experts claim he doesn’t have the upside that players like Dee Ford and Ryan Shazier have. After watching film on these three late first/early second round prospects, Van Noy was the one that really stuck out to me.
I really didn't see any glaring weaknesses. Nothing that would make me want to shy away from this prospect. He has great fundamentals and can do a little bit of everything. What team couldn't use someone like that? Before I dive too deep into this analysis I want to give some quick stats about Van Noy.
Height: 6’ 3”
Weight: 243 lbs
Arm Length: 31 5/8”
Tackles for loss: 22
Tackles for loss: 17.5
40 Time: 4.71
10 yard split: 1.60
Bench Press: 21 reps
Broad Jump: 9-4”
Vertical Jump: 32.5
Van Noy was expected to be a first round pick if he would have entered the draft after his junior season but opted to stay at BYU for his senior season. This probably hurt his draft stock. Teams began game planning against him and his stats dropped. Some positives are that he has played in all 52 games in the past four seasons at BYU.
Other things to note from the statistics are his combine numbers. Nothing really sticks out. He isn’t the stud athlete that Clowney is or anything, but he is a good enough athlete to make plays and certainly shows it on film.
When looking at the film, Van Noy was one of the most well rounded players that I watched. He could really do a little bit of everything. Now I’m not saying I would take Van Noy over the top prospects like Khalil Mack, Jadaveon Clowney, or Anthony Barr. That would be a bit ridiculous. However, I think teams will be looking at this guy as early as the middle of the first round. The fact is, he is a much different prospects than most of the linebackers in the draft. So let’s look at what the BYU linebacker is and what he isn’t
What He Is:
Kyle Van Noy is a very safe pick. He is talented in multiple facets of the game. He is a solid tackler, an above average pass rusher, good run defender, and he is actually very good in coverage. While the first three things I mentioned are a must for a good outside linebacker the fourth one is what I think really sets him apart from the other outside linebackers in the draft. In the right defense, Kyle Van Noy can play all over the field, drop back into coverage and be a sure tackler in the run game while still possessing the threat to rush the passer. His ability to do these things makes him a safe pick that can potentially be a three down linebacker.
What He Is Not:
Van Noy should not be drafted as a team’s premiere pass rusher. He isn’t a Khalil Mack, Anthony Barr, or Clowney who can get after the passer despite double teams. While Van Noy may be an adequate pass rusher, if you rely on him to put pressure on the quarterback every play and make him one dimensional, teams will slide protection to him and he won’t be very effective.
What Is His Best Fit?
Van Noy could play either 34 or 43 outside linebacker but he should only be played in a 34 defense if a quality pass rusher is on the opposite side of him. For example, if we were to get drafted by Green Bay, Clay Matthews would remain the premiere pass rusher, and Van Noy would complement him. Teams would slide the protection to Matthews opening things up for Van Noy. In this scenario Van Noy would be able to drop back in coverage and provide run support making it hard for offenses to know exactly what he will be doing on each given play. As opposed to a Dee Ford where you know he will be rushing the passer at proabably 90% of the time.
Van Noy may not be the number one pass rusher teams are looking for, but he could be an incredible compliment to one. He would be a great piece in nearly any defense and a fun toy for defensive coordinators to play with. Wherever he ends up, I can’t see this guy being a bust. His well-rounded play style can make him a safe pick and he could fit in multiple defenses.
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If you are interested in any of my individual positional analysis for the top prospects check out the links below.