Well if the Super Bowl taught us anything, it’s that defensive speed and tenacity kills and wins championships. The old adage stood tall as the Seahawks routed the Broncos 43-8, mainly on the backs of their defense, and the speed of those ridiculous defensive ends that absolutely overwhelmed the Broncos offensive line.
I digress, the reason for that small rant is to prove the point that elite speed is essential for guys in the front seven of a defense. Meet Kyle Van Noy. Senior LB from BYU. Van Noy is one of the top LBs in this year’s draft and his key attribute is his speed. Van Noy has a relentless motor and is persistent in chasing down players in the backfield.
Van Noy has several good qualities that are needed as a LB for Rob Ryan’s scheme. Good, quick hands and hips to allude offensive linemen, a solid tackler, elite sideline to sideline speed, good anticipation in finding the ball, and he has the versatility to play both ILB and OLB.
At 6’3″ 245lbs, the decorated senior ended his career with 62 tackles for loss, 26 sacks, 11 forced fumbles, and 7 interceptions. Clearly a productive force, and an asset for any defense.
The former Bednarik, Butkus, and Lombardi Award semifinalist may have to learn how to shed blockers once they lock onto him, and he may need to get a little stronger in the run game but outside of those few flaws his game is extremely solid.
The Saints should have Van Noy ranked as the #1 LB on their draft board followed by UCLA LB Anthony Barr, who’s a similar talent just a little less polished. If selected, expect Van Noy to primarily play next to Cam Jordan as the OLB. This will be a good fit because of Jordan’s rage monster type strength and ability to command double teams. Let’s not forget that Jordan coming off of a Pro Bowl season. What does that mean for Van Noy? Sacks! And lots of them.