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The IDP scouting report gauntlet continues with new Lions linebacker Kyle Van Noy.  Linebackers in the NFC North need to be very versatile because they deal with great quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler, but on the other van noyhand contend with fantastic runners in Eddie Lacy, Matt Forte, and Adrian Peterson.  I re-watched four of Van Noy’s 2013 games with Georgia Tech, Washington, Utah State, and Texas along with a review of my notes from the Senior Bowl week to get a good breakdown of the skills this young backer brings to the Motor City.  He certainly isn’t my top dynasty linebacker, but Van Noy could grow into a valuable LB3 quite quickly.

One of the fist things that jumps out with Van Noy is that he is not a physical, attacking player.  The linebacker has trouble shedding blockers, so he uses his speed and technique to disengage from them quickly.  He rarely uses the full force of his body to bring the offensive player down.  Instead he wraps them up and leans with his shoulder pads bringing them to the ground.  There are times when he over pursues plays and gets washed out because Van Noy isn’t in the right position to make the play.  This might be less of an issue in the strong side linebacker role of the 4-3 defense that the Lions play.   Van Noy will get asked to cover the tight end or the running back and take on the lead blocker on runs.

The BYU defensive coordinator had compete faith in his athletic abilities, because he spent a great deal of time split out covering the slot receivers.  Van Noy did a great job keeping the wide out in front of him and keyed on the quarterback’s eyes to decide where the play went.  Of course in the NFL, the quarterback play will be considerably better, but his great instincts and natural coverage should stay.  The linebacker is very fluid, has quick feet and breaks on the ball.  He is a very versatile backer with his ability to play on the inside or the outside.  Van Noy sets the edge well on the outside and does a good job of forcing the ball carrier back inside.

Pass rushing is quite natural to him with his ability to slip around or through little creases in the offensive line finding the best angles to take. The linebacker has a great initial first step, using a spin move or a swim move to get around blockers.  He keeps his arms up when rushing the passer and causing tipped passes.  This gives the defense and opportunity to cause a turnover and perhaps even score.  Van Noy uses his good balance and can crash down behind the line of scrimmage to clean up the trash on delays and sweeps.  It’s that hustle that will make Van Noy a valuable asset to your dynasty squad.  Once the top rookie linebackers are gone, invest in Van Noy two rounds later in your rookie fantasy drafts.

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