If Atlanta is moving to a base 3-4 defense, they will need to bring in the right kind of linebackers for their new scheme. Kyle Van Noy would be an ideal fit for the Falcons at strong-side linebacker, and they should be interested in his pass rush abilities there.
Atlanta has shown interest in the experienced BYU defender. ESPN's Vaughn McClure reported that Van Noy has a visit scheduled with the Falcons on April 16, 2014. Van Noy could be someone that catches the eye of Atlanta's top brass if his visit goes well.
Kyle Van Noy
Brigham Young University
Combine/Pro Day Measurements
Height: 6'3-1/8" Weight: 243 pounds
Arm Length: 31-5/8" Hand Measurement: 9-5/8"
40 yard dash: 4.71 sec. 10 yard split: 1.60 sec.
20 yard shuttle: 4.20 sec. 3-cone Drill: 7.22 sec. Bench Reps: 21 reps
Vertical Jump: 32.5" Broad Jump: 9'4"
2013: 13 Games Played, 67 Tackles, 17.0 Tackles for Loss, 4.0 Sacks, 10 QB Hurries, 2 Interceptions, 7 Pass Deflections, 1 Defensive Touchdown
2012: 13 Games Played, 52 Tackles, 22.0 Tackles for Loss, 13.0 Sacks, 8 QB Hurries, 2 Interceptions, 6 Fumbles Forced, 5 Pass Deflections, 2 Blocked Kicks, 1 Defensive Touchdown, 1 Punt Return, 8 Yards
2011: 13 Games Played, 68 Tackles, 15.0 Tackles for Loss, 6.0 Sacks, 10 QB Hurries, 3 Interceptions, 3 Fumbles Forced, 1 Fumble Recovered, 3 Pass Deflections, 1 Blocked Kick, 1 Defensive Touchdown, 1 Punt Return, 31 Yards
2010: 13 Games Played, 36 Tackles, 7.5 Tackles for Loss, 2.0 Sacks, 2 QB Hurries, 2 Fumbles Forced, 1 Fumble Recovered, 2 Pass Deflections, 1 Defensive Touchdown
Van Noy is an aggressive, intelligent defender who wins with technique more than natural physical abilities. He’s got a great set of pass-rushing moves—especially his spin move. He also understands that it’s not all about hitting the quarterback when he rushes, as he bats quite a few balls at the line.
In coverage, he’s surprisingly good for his limited athleticism, as he can play a physical press and also has the instincts to go after the ball in mid-air. On top of all of this, he’s got experience in a multiple-front defense like what Mike Nolan runs for the Falcons.
While Van Noy is a willing run defender, he has trouble getting disengaged from powerful blockers. He needs to work on his hand usage in the worst way, as he can get thrown back from even a mediocre offensive lineman’s initial burst off the line.
He gets beat in zone coverage because he doesn’t fully understand where he needs to be in terms of depth or positioning. To cap all of this off, he’s not a great athlete and has trouble changing directions in space. He would do better as a less lateral defender.
How does he fit the Comrade Filter?
Despite never being a captain for the Cougars, Van Noy always handled the lack of an official leadership title with grace. He also lived life by BYU's honor code. This honor code is very strict and works ideally as Comrade Filter training.
It doesn't allow drinking, smoking, premarital sex or any kind of drug use. It also forbids any sort of moral discretion. However, Van Noy wasn't a choir boy. He had a DUI a year before he started at BYU and sat out a season to make sure he could still go there.
Van Noy is a bit of a project in some cases. He’s not really worth a pick in the first two rounds in this year’s draft, but some team will gladly take him there based on pure potential. The Atlanta Falcons could easily be that team, as they have a huge need for a top pass-rusher.
Unfortunately, Van Noy wouldn’t be the guy to be that long-term premier pass-rusher. He’s a complementary rusher who gives teams not much more than what Kroy Biermann does as a player. Ideally, he’ll be a strong-side linebacker in the 3-4.
How he would fit into the Falcons' plans
If Atlanta wants Kyle Van Noy, it’s going to have to either trade up for him in the bottom of the first round or hope that he falls to No. 37. Van Noy would be an instant starter at outside linebacker, and the Falcons would be prone to running more 3-4 sets.
Van Noy would be used in a role similar to what the Falcons had Biermann run in 2012, and he could easily outperform Biermann. Van Noy could be a 10-sack pass-rusher for the Falcons if he can put it all together.
All stats used are either from Pro Football Focus' Premium Stats (subscription required), ESPN, CFBStats or the NFL. All combine and pro day info is courtesy of NFL Draft Scout. All contract information is courtesy of Spotrac and Rotoworld.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, College Football, NFL and the NFL draft. He also runs DraftFalcons.com.
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