Should the Chargers go with the "safe" pick and Select Kyle Van Noy

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Breaking down one of the more versatile/smarter players in the Draft, Edge Player Kyle Van Noy

It's been known now that the Chargers have been very interested in Edge Rusher/do it all linebacker Kyle Van Noy. They met with him after the Senior Bowl. As well as before before his Pro Day.

Much like the players I wrote about yesterday, Van Noy is a high motor/energy guy. His atleticism won't blow you away. Here's how his measureables won't blow you away. Here's how he stacked up against other outside linebackers at the combine.

Measurable Van Noy Average OLB
Height 6'3" 6'1 9/10"
Weight 243 239
Arm Length 31 5/8" 32 1/2"
40 Yard Dash 4.71 4.69
Bench Press 21 22
Vertical Jump 32.5 34.44"
Broad Jump 112 116 9/10"
3-Cone 7.22 7.13
20 Yard Shuttle 4.2 4.28

But again, what matters is what the player brings on the field. Van Noy has traits that make up for his lack of explosiveness.

Where He Excels

  • Incredible Awareness. Very Intelligent Football Player
  • Setting the Edge/Staying unblocked in the Run Game
  • Very Comfortable in Space/Coverage
  • Making Plays. Period
Van Noy is the total package football player that never has to leave the field. He does the little things you appreciate, like keep his outside arm free to make a tackle.

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I believe Van Noy's ability to set the edge in the run game is an underrated part of his game that doesn't get nearly the credit it should. He usually does this by beating his man to the spot, not by pure strength. Because he is a high motor guy, he also doesn't stay blocked. That's why you see him continue to make plays.

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Van Noy has some of, if not the best instincts in the class. His ability to diagnose, and react is amazing. This is why it's easy to see him continuing to make plays at the next level. There were 2 times against Washington, where he read the screen, and completely took the play away. Against Utah State, he read a quick throw, stopped his rush, and went for a pick 6.

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Van Noy is very comfortable in space. He's excellent at getting depth, and being where he needs to be in coverage. He does a good job of getting into passing lanes and being disruptive, as well as finding work in coverage.

What really matters is how he is as a pass rusher, right? You don't take an edge player who can't rush the passer high. I don't think Van Noy will win with a speed rush primarily, but he's very effective in stunting, countering towards the inside, and has a very nice arm over move.

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Van Noy has also shown that he can win with a "rip" move as well as a spin move, though the spin move is very hit and miss. Outside of his arm over move, Van Noy might be best when he attacks the outside shoulder of the tackle, gets him to over commit, then beats him with an inside step move.

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Van Noy is unique. I can't tell if I'm underrating, or overrating him as a pass rusher. He is quick off of the snap, but doesn't have that "rare 1st step", and certainly won't win as a power rusher. But at the end of the day, he's disruptive.

What Will Hold Him Back

  • Elite Burst
  • Better At Disengaging
  • Form Tackling
  • Strength At the Point of Attack
While Van Noy is quick off the snap, I don't think the speed continues throughout the play. It's more hustle than outright explosiveness. That's what will likely keep him out of the 1st round. It's a weakness of mine, but I just don't project players highly if they don't when with burst.

Van Noy needs to do a better job at disengaging, as well getting stronger at the point of attack. He's very active in the run game. You'll see him make plays because he does a good job of hand fighting and keeping himself clean. You'll also see him get swallowed up offensive lineman, and once that happens, he does a poor job of disengaging. Offensive tackles at the next level with length will give Van Noy problems if he doesn't fix this issue.

Van Noy has shown he can win in multiple ways, but he relies too much on either his spin or to win with speed, neither of which are his true strengths in my opinion. I'd love to see him use his inside arm over more.

Van Noy had some tackling issues, which came to as a surprise for someone who operates so well in space. He would leave his feet instead of wrapping up and driving on contact.

Grade/Final Thought

Multiple Pro Bowl Player, Top 10 8.5 – 9.0
Highly Productive Starter, 1st Round 8.0 – 8.4
Very Good Starter, Early 2nd Round 7.8 – 7.9
Reliable Starter, 2nd Round 7.5 – 7.7
Potential Starter in Year 2, 3rd Round 7.0 – 7.4
Backup/Spot Starter, 4th Round 6.5 – 6.9
Productive Backup, 5th Round 6.0 – 6.4
Very Good Backup/STs, 6th Round 5.5 – 5.9
Quality Backup/Good STs, 7th Round 5.0 – 5.4
Backup/STs/Project Player, 7th Round 4.5 – 4.9
Priority Free Agent w/ Limitations 4.0 – 4.4
Non-Draftable
Vs. The Run 4 3.6
Pass Rush Ability 4 3.5
Read & React 3 2.8
First Step 2 1.6
Pass Rush Moves 2 1.7
Tackling 2 1.5
Coverage 2 2
Motor 2 2
Stack & Shed/Strength at POA 2 1.4
Feet/COD 2 2
Van Noy grades out to a 7.96, or a top 50 talent. This is mainly due to the missed tackling, and sub par strength at the point of attack. Van Noy is certainly a complete football player, the type of player that can dominate the game without having a sack. He's a player every team should want, and can use.

How He Fits as a Charger

Maybe this is the type of player the Chargers like, but he's more Melvin Ingram than Dwight Freeney to me. By that, I mean he's more of a movable chess piece, that can blitz, and shoot the gaps, rush at times, and is actually far superior in coverage than Ingram. I'd put Van Noy at inside linebacker on obvious passing downs and just let him get in the passing lanes and make plays. Obviously, with Donald Butler & Manti Te'o, that's not likely to happen in San Diego. But Van Noy is best when he's constantly on the move, not as a pure pass rusher/edge player.

I personally wouldn't take him in the 1st, and you honestly never know if the "jack of all trades type" will fall to that 2nd round pick at 57. Will this be the 2nd year in a row Tom Telesco trades up for a linebacker he likes?


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