Four weeks ago, SideLion Report asked fans when they thought Kyle Van Noy would become a starter for the Detroit Lions. Over half of you believed that he would be a day one starter as a rookie.
I would have to agree with the majority, and I think Van Noy will make a big impact right out of the gate.
KVN is not a supreme athlete, but he is extremely intelligent and possesses rare football instincts.
This play is my all-time favorite play of Kyle Van Noy’s.
KVN rushes off of the snap and gets stood up by the second tight end to the right, but makes the intelligent decision of spinning to the outside. He knows that the running back has the option to bounce to the outside for a possible touchdown run. While spinning to the outside, KVN cuts off the running back, who is forced to take a two-yard loss on the carry.
Screen Killer #2?
DeAndre Levy was given the nickname “The Screen-Killer” by his teammates after blowing up so many plays in the backfield over the course of his career.
What the Lions may not realize yet is they have another player who is especially good at defending screens.
On 2nd and 5, Van Noy is lined up as a slot cornerback on what looks to be a designed blitz. He rushes towards the quarterback, keeping his eyes fixated on him and reroutes himself once he recognizes the screen. He then breaks towards the intended receiver with his eyes still locked on the QB and figures he’s already busted the play, so he chases down the QB for an incomplete pass.
This play doesn’t look to be a designed screen pass, but Van Noy sniffs it out all the same after Virginia’s quarterback tries to dump it off.
As the play develops, Van Noy is almost five yards away from the closest defender (#43) to the ball carrier, but he’s so quick to recognize the dump off pass that he ends up getting to the ball at almost the exact same time as #43.
Outlook for the 2014 season
Barring any injuries, I expect Kyle Van Noy to make an early impression during training camp and take over the starting strongside linebacker position by the end of camp.
He can do almost anything asked of him and will likely see plenty of snaps in coverage and also as a pass rusher.
If Van Noy can live up to what he was drafted to do, with Tulloch and Levy doing what they do best, we might be looking at one of the best group of linebackers in the NFL.