Friday, May 2, 2014

Scouting The 2014 NFL Draft: Kyle Van Noy

So I'm going to try and squeeze as many as my man crushes in before this draft, so now it's time to move on to Mormon country for Brigham Young Linebacker, Kyle Van Noy. Van Noy got on my radar before last year's draft as I was looking at Ezekiel Ansah. Ansah did not impress me as he got stood up and stonewalled pretty easily, but there was another guy flying around the field that jumped off the screen. That player was Van Noy, and I kept an eye on him throughout the 2013 season. Also, special thanks to Draft Breakdown's video of his game against Utah State.

It doesn't take an expert to get excited about Van Noy, because the dude has speed and power. He gives large offensive tackles problems with his speed and tight ends and running backs problems with his power as he is willing to dodge the big guys and blow up the smaller guys.

He had far worse stats in 2013 than he did in 2012. This had a lot to do with the Jadeveon Clowney effect. It was not nearly to the same extent as Clowney, but teams definitely changed their game plans to minimize the effect that Van Noy could have on the game. This play really stood out for me. Note that the offense is snapping the ball from the near hash, and Van Noy is lined up outside the far hash.

Despite all that, Utah State kept a tight end back to block him and had extra help from the right tackle to peel off and help out the tight end. Two blockers for a guy who starts about 20 yards away from the quarterback at the snap of the ball.

Another mitigating factor in his shrinking stat line was his enhanced role in coverage. He dropped back into zone and man-to-man coverage quite frequently last year because of his athleticism. What he showed is that he handles zone coverage fairly well, but he can struggle in man coverage, especially against quicker tight ends or wide receivers.

Honestly, even with all of the physical gifts he displays, his tackling is a little shaky. He fails to wrap up on some plays that he could make with better form.

Overall, he's not perfect, but I would be considering him as early as the middle of the first round and would definitely take him anytime in the second round. I would prefer to see him as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 as I think he has shown a lot of potential with his pass rushing, but I think he has displayed the necessary skills to excel in a 4-3 as well as he's solid in coverage and quickly reads and reacts on run plays. I don't consider him a wow guy, but he's very good, and I fully expect his talents to translate well to the next level.

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