With Ryan Shazier skyrocketing up draft board it's looking less and less likely we'll be able to get him at #31. I'm not against trading up for him but trading up in the first round is an expensive proposition. The next guy on our radar should obviously be C.J. Mosely who, unlike Shazier, has seen his draft stock plummet due to numerous injury concerns. Mosely did his part to ease those concerns with a solid pro day but damaged goods are damaged goods and we cannot afford to gamble on him considering our mission to win the Super Bowl this year.
The next guy who could really make an impact for us this year is Kyle Van Noy who hasn't gotten nearly as much attention as the top prospects. At 6'3" 243lbs he's got prototypical NFL size. With a 4.71 sec 40 he's not as quick as I would like but he was very good at the Combine in the drills.
"Impressed at the Senior Bowl with his fluidity in coverage by closing quickly to bat away multiple passes during practices." - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange
STRENGTHS: Quick, instinctive linebacker with excellent reaction skills. Athletic enough in coverage, showing balance and change of direction. Locates the ball quickly and provides good effort in pursuit. Impressed at the Senior Bowl with his fluidity and instincts in coverage by closing quickly to bat away multiple passes during practices.
Shows excellent play recognition, taking on blockers with the correct shoulder (allowing him to slide off would-be blockers and into ballcarriers easily) and is equally effective slipping into coverage or sliding past offensive linemen on his way toward a tackle behind the line of scrimmage.
Surprised many coaches and teammates by returning for senior season, then battled through late-season injury to stay on the field and serve as the defense's leader.
WEAKNESSES: Not an elite athlete overall. A bit slow to 'shoot his gun' when ballcarriers are running at him and relies too much on a simple bull-rush when coming off the edge. Wasn't as disruptive as a senior, in part due to opponents game-planning to avoid him. However, he was also without 2013 first-round pick DL Ziggy Ansah occupying blockers in front of him.
Relies on instincts and efficiency, rather than physicality. Beats blockers to the action, rather than taking them on shedding violently and isn't an explosive tackler. Projects best as a traditional outside linebacker in the 4-3 alignment because of this lack of take-on mentality, though he has shown the ability to get to the quarterback.
Compares To: Chad Greenway, Vikings - Greenway might just be the best all-around outside linebacker in the NFL, and comparing any rookie to him is therefore hyperbole. Van Noy plays with similar instincts and efficiency, however, making plays behind the line of scrimmage as well as dropping back into coverage with impressive consistency. He isn't flashy or physically dominant, but ranks among the safer prospects in the 2014 draft.
"Van Noy is extremely explosive coming off the edge. He is a solid run-defender, but really excels in pass defense. Van Noy is a good athlete who drops into coverage well, yet he is still a phenomenal blitzer.
Van Noy has an excellent physical skill set with a lot of upside to develop in the NFL. He was one of the nation's leading sackers in 2012 with 13 quarterback takedowns. The junior also recorded 53 tackles, 22 tackles for a loss, six forced fumbles, two interceptions and five passes batted. Van Noy was the most impressive player on the BYU defense and that includes the 2013 NFL Draft's fifth overall-pick, defensive end Ezekiel Ansah."
What do you guys think about Mr. Van Noy if Ryan Shazier is long gone and C.J. Mosely's injury concerns are too significant to overlook?