2015 Detroit Lions Roster Analysis: Linebackers

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Nov 9, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy (95) against the Miami Dolphins at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

No. 53 Kyle Van Noy

Age: 24

Height: 6-foot-3

College: BYU

One thing is for certain, there is a lot of anticipation around Kyle Van Noy in 2015. In large part, it’s due to his absence for 10 games last season. Fans are eager to see what this kid from BYU can do, and if he will be the starter when the regular season gets underway.

What he’s done I the past – Not a whole lot. Detroit was left wondering a lot of things when Van Noy missed the first 10 games of 2014 with a sports hernia injury. He would eventually get back on to the field, but never really seemed to play at 100 percent.

What he needs to do moving forward – Healthy now but still down the depth chart, Van Noy’s role for 2015 remains a bit of a mystery — and something that Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said is “totally up to him.”

"“He can have a huge role if he has a great off-season and plays great,” Mayhew said at the NFL combine last week. “If he doesn’t have a great off-season and he doesn’t play great, then his role won’t be as big. “I think, a lot of times with young players, not him specifically, but they come from a place where they’ve been great players and superstars and then they come into a new team, and now they’ve got to work their way up and play special teams and do stuff that they didn’t do in college. So sometimes that’s an adjustment process.”"

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  • The Lions traded up to get Van Noy in the second round of last year’s draft because they liked his versatility as a three-down linebacker and what he could offer as a stand-up rusher in some blitz packages.

    But while Van Noy was slow grasping the Lions’ defensive system and then sidelined by injury, Tahir Whitehead leapfrogged him in the rotation and proved capable of contributing at either middle or strongside linebacker.

    It will be interesting to see how Van Noy performs with all eyes on him in 2015. The Lions drafted Van Noy to be the starter, can he step up and prove that he should be?

    Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

    ** Side Note: Josh Bynes is another guy to keep an eye on in 2015. The Lions acquired the former Baltimore Raven last season, and he played a formidable role at various positions in 2014. I look for his to contribute again this season, especially on special teams.

    Next: Matthew Stafford's Fantasy Football Value in 2015

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