30 for No. 29: This is the 25th in a daily series of looks at 30 prospects the Patriots may consider selecting with the 29th overall pick at the 2014 NFL Draft.
Kyle Van Noy
6-3, 243 pounds, 3/26/91
2013: 70 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 2 INTs
A native of Reno, Nev., was a third-team All-American last season at BYU. Also named FBS Independent Defensive Player of the Year and was a finalist for Bednarik and Butkus awards. Played through torn labrum in 2011 and was arrested for DUI as a high school senior and suspended his senior season.
TO THE GOOD
Extremely versatile player who’s been used in a variety of ways. Very smooth and fluid and shows good ability to drop and cover with good instincts and anticipation. Pursues well and finds nooks and crannies when rushing or filling in the running game.
TO THE BAD
Relies on his athleticism and can get stuck on blocks. He’ll need to get stronger and fit some more physicality into his game to deal with setting the edge as he projects mostly as an outside linebacker.
The Patriots are a couple guys down at the linebacker spot. Brandon Spikes is in Buffalo and Dane Fletcher is in Tampa, so there’s need for depth and coverage which Fletcher brought (and that free agent signee Josh Hull may also bring) and some running game thump, which Spikes brought. There is high talent at the top of the depth chart with Mayo, Hightower and Jamie Collins. Van Noy’s versatility and coverage ability makes him intriguing because there are times the Patriots are in a 4-2-5 alignment against pass-heavy teams and Van Noy can cover and tackle. The Patriots have checked him out at BYU.
Van Noy is regarded as a second- or third-round pick. But, as always, the fact analysts have him ticketed as a lower-round pick isn’t always indicative of how New England may feel about him.