Five Detroit Lions who are poised for a breakout season

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Kyle Van Noy

Aug 9, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) runs with the ball after getting away from Detroit Lions linebacker Kyle Van Noy (95) during the third quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Lions expected big things from Van Noy when they traded up in the second round to acquire his services. They expected him to be a multifaceted player at linebacker, someone who could rush the passer as effectively as he could drop back into coverage–something the Lions were lacking in Teryl Austin’s aggressive scheme.

Unfortunately those expectations fell way short when Van Noy had an early injury ending his rookie year in preseason due to a sports hernia. Van Noy was considered one of the most NFL ready players coming out of the draft in 2014.

If he can remain healthy, his skill-set and the Lions’ defensive scheme should translate into a big year for him, as long as he has a “great offseason” according to Martin Mayhew. Van Noy’s main competition will be from Tahir Whitehead who “broke out” last season when Stephen Tulloch went down with an ACL tear.

Next: Eric Ebron