Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Van Noy- 2014 NFL Draft Scouting Report


+Do it all player against the pass
+Outstanding in zone coverage
+Good pass rusher
+Phenomenal range
+Great fundamentals as a pass rusher
+Excellent quickness
+Great ball skills
+Excellent instincts


-No natural NFL position, at least that plays to all of his best strengths
-Average strength
-Mediocre tackler
-Average body control

BYU outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy is just an awesome player. He does so many things well, and should be a very good player at the next level.

I’ll cut to the chase: I said Van Noy has no natural NFL position. For all the fans wondering if Van Noy is a fit in your defense, here’s your answer. The reason I said he has no natural NFL position is because he is a pass rushing linebacker who can’t play in a 3-4 defense. I say this because he is never very good out of a 3 point stance and therefore cannot fit in the nickel package all NFL 3-4 teams use. Almost every defense in the NFL is a either a 4-3 that subs out a linebacker when they see 3 receivers, moving to a 4-2-5, or a 3-4 defense that subs out a defensive lineman, almost always the nose tackle (they lack stamina), and then moving both outside linebackers to 5 technique defensive end to create a 4-2-5. The only exception: the Denver Broncos, a 4-3 team that can conserve the stamina of their D-line by subbing out a defensive lineman and moving Von Miller to 5 technique defensive end. The moral of the story: Von Miller is awesome and 3-4 outside linebackers have their hand in the dirt against 3 receiver sets. Kyle Van Noy is a better pass rusher from a 2 point stance and he lacks the strength to hold his ground against the run if you do play him as a 5 technique. So Van Noy is stuck as a 4-3 outside linebacker, a position which will inevitably waste at least some of his pass rushing ability in the NFL.

Van Noy has good measurables. He has ideal height and weight at 6’3, 245lbs, and he has above average speed with a 4.68 40 yard dash, according to NFLDraftScout.com. He moves very well laterally and has a very clean build.

Van Noy is very good against the run. What stands out in this respect is his range, which is pretty much off the charts. I once saw him make a TFL on a quick wide receiver screen… from the backside. Yes, he wasn’t even on the side to which the play was directed, yet he still made a TFL on a play he must have moved about 25 yards laterally just to get to the receiver. Quite impressive. His range will really go a long way in the NFL, making life for his corners easier (they can just contain the outside) and that of running backs harder. With regard to his ability to take on blocks, he is an overachiever. He really lacks the strength and the length to beat a block in many traditional senses, but he has so much lateral quickness and flexibility that there just aren’t many guards who can lay a finger on him. It’s so difficult to square up against him and make a play, because he does such an outstanding job of using his deceptively quick feet to get linemen off balance and make them just whiff when they try to engage in a block, and it’s so hard to get any kind of leverage against him thanks to his tremendous flexibility. If the lineman does engage in a block, he usually can’t beat it, but he dodges blockers like a boxer that dodges punches, and it really is hard to land a blow if you are blocking him. He really protects his body. He also has outstanding instincts and can weave his way through traffic and make a play. He’s very fast and he takes outstanding angles to the ball. He still could use a little strength and he could improve his tackling but he is still very good against the run.

Van Noy is outstanding against the pass. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a linebacker as good in coverage as Van Noy. His range and lateral quickness are both outstanding and his ball skills are top notch. He deflects passes with incredible frequency and his instincts are outstanding. He is always in the right position, he can read the quarterbacks eyes, and he has the size to cover most tight ends. He also is a very productive pass rusher, showcasing outstanding quickness and consistently getting good leverage as a speed rusher. His quickness makes him very successful with inside counter moves, and he can consistently get pressure when he uses these moves as a change of pace against certain offensive lineman, who will struggle to compete with his quickness and change of direction skills. He is a fluid athlete he also knows how to tackle the quarterback, doing an excellent job of draping his arms around the quarterback, plus he flashes the ability to hit the forearm of the throwing arm of the quarterback when he gets a chance. He also is asked to be a safety spy on occasion, something that he really excels at thanks to his range and discipline.

I really like Van Noy. His quickness and instincts will go a long way toward making him a productive 4-3 outside linebacker, and he should be good for about 5 sacks a year along the way.

NFL Comparison: It may strike some people as a tad odd, but Jamie Collins. I’m comparing Collins to Van Noy as much as I am comparing Van Noy to Collins. For those of you who aren’t too familiar with Collins, he was recruited as a safety for Southern Miss but ended up playing defensive end, so he had no experience at his natural NFL position, 4-3 outside linebacker, until this year with the Patriots. He needs time to hone his instincts but, as evidenced by his quick transition from safety to defensive end in college, he’s a fast learner. Collins always flashed talent in coverage at the collegiate level but he was rarely was used in coverage. There is little difference in short areas but Collins definitely has more long speed, yet I’m not sure he will ever catch up to Van Noy’s outstanding instincts. In summary, Van Noy resembles Collins except in that Van Noy already has experience at his natural position at the collegiate level, unlike Collins. In 3 years, they should be the same player: a good pass rusher for a 4-3 linebacker that is outstanding in coverage and has lots of range against the run.

Grade: 92 (in a strong draft class, worthy of a late first round pick)

Projection: 87 (will be an early, possibly mid second round pick)

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  • Ademi Smith

    I’m sure tons of teams let their 3-4 OLBs stay in 2 point stance

    • MacKenzie Pantoja

      Only when they aren’t in the nickel. In the nickel, the low stamina nose tackle is subbed out for a 3rd corner, and the two linebackers are almost always in a 2 point stance. Rarely does a team use a 2-4-5

      • HarryBackside

        This would be a great point, unfortunately it’s wrong. The Steelers play in their nickle and dime defense over 50% of the time. They play with 2 defensive lineman, and the OLB’s at the line of scrimmage a lot. What they don’t do a lot, or ever, is have their OLB’s line up in a 3-point stance.

  • Malty17

    Van Noy will make a great Pro. They were able to put two guys on him in college, but can’t do that in the pros.

  • Jeremiah Collins

    Sounds like the future Chicago bears middle linebacker… NFCs Brian Cushing…

    • MacKenzie Pantoja

      Sure, could work

  • truebyufan

    I have watched every game that Van Noy played, both in person and on television(away games); and can say that he is an incredible player and leader. If you don’t know of his personal life and story that led to him coming to BYU, I highly recommend reading it. His story is one of a kid that had lost direction and met a head coach that saw a leader in him and would not give up on him. He is true to his word and actually sat out a season in order to clean up his personal life before coming to BYU and living the standards that each player commits to living when they sign the honor code. He could have gone to practically any division 1 school in country without sitting, but chose to sit the year and honor his commitment to the Y. He developed into one of my personal favorite players that I have ever met, and is a truly humble kid off the field.
    As a Bears fan, I pray that they choose to find a way to bring him to Chicago and be that future leader that was lost when Urlacher retired. Next to Green and Bostic, this kid could help form the most athletic linebacker corp in the NFL. I have seen him do things that only a safety or DB should be able to do in coverage, but then go and just take over a game by getting through on every play. Your assessment of him does him some justice, but could even have brought up more about his background and the reason that he chose to stay for his senior year. Don’t let his senior year stats sway your opinion, because he was the product of every single team game planning to go up against him. His previous year, he had Ziggy Ansah, Russell Tialavea, Spencer Hadley, and Romney Fuga taking some of the pressure off of him; and they formed the # 3 complete defense in the entire country. This year due to graduation and injuries, he only Hadley for a few games, and Manumaleauna to help him. BYU played with a young defense that showcased Van Noy, Hadley, Manu, and Sorenson with a lot of young guys, and he still dominated in ways that stats could not be shown.

    • MacKenzie Pantoja

      Big fan of his. Love the way he carries himself on the field.

  • jb

    Von Miller is great, love him, but what you REALLY meant to say is one is black and one is white. The “perception” alone that one of them MUST be quicker and better permeates NFL backfields, the NBA of course, and even MLB where if you’re from the Islands or south America YOU must BE BETTER than those white Americans (and it’s starting to hit the QB position now too – was Geno Smith – who had the same downside as Tebow – really better than Tebow? (a proven winner so far but a black running mobile QB is “athletic” a white one is a liability for some reason). How many white CB’s or safety’s are there? I’ve come to believe that white American males aren’t worse – they’re out there and often ALOT smarter because of the way they were raised (with an actual dad in the home) but there is now this perception – kind of a reverse stereotype. I having nothing to do with the NBA anymore, and I was a fanatic once upon a time, because of the blatant overt racism that exists.

    • MacKenzie Pantoja

      Look, I said that Van Noy has excellent quickness. Von Miller is stronger and can hold his own against the run playing the 5 technique. Can’t say the same about Van Noy. Not to mention, I can’t tell what race Van Noy is from looking at him. Oh, and my comparison for Van Noy was Jamie Collins, who is black.
      Oh, and Tebow threw the football like a javelin.

  • HarryBackside

    3-4 OLB’s line up in a 3-point stance in sub packages? Really? As a Steelers fan, I can say that I’ve seen the Steelers OLB’s play near the line in sub packages a lot. I have never seen one of them play from a 3-point stance.

    • MacKenzie Pantoja

      They are an exception in my mind, but it is becoming more and more common among 3-4 teams. Frankly, it’s not used by the Packers much either. And no team puts their linebackers exclusively in 3 point stances in nickel packages. However, almost every team does it at times since a 5 technique in a 2 point stance can’t defend the run very effectively. Most 3-4 defenses, especially the good ones (Kansas City, San Francisco, Arizona, New Orleans), put their outside linebackers in a 3 point stance if the opponent has 3 receivers and it’s 3rd and 3. If a 3-4 team is in a nickel set and it’s 2nd and 5, the linebackers are almost always in a 3 point stance. You guys were really odd because you were the only 3-4 team that didn’t always sub out a lineman when going to a nickel defense. You were so weak at inside linebacker that you would often sub out Vince Williams when going to the nickel, and have 3 down linemen. I always study NFL Rewind before making that kind of utterance, and I would say that you guys are the only 3-4 defense that almost never has their linebackers in a 3 point stance when in the nickel. I think that’s Dick Lebeau’s thing. The Packers also do it pretty rarely. Sometimes one linebacker will be in a 2 point stance and the other will be in a 3 point stance. But rarely does a team have two down linemen on the field.