As someone who follows the NFL Draft and Mountain West football, I was extremely pleased when I read the following tweets from Jim Wexell of Steel City Insider earlier this morning:
For those of you who remember, I thought that the Steelers needed to have Kyle Van Noy on their radars leading up to the 2013 NFL Draft.
Van Noy and Ziggy Ansah helped B.Y.U.’s defense absolutely destroy San Diego State in the Poinsettia Bowl last Decemeber, and many believed that a player of Van Noy’s caliber and with his versatility would forgo his final season with the Cougars and enter the 2013 NFL Draft. Potential pay-day aside, Van Noy ignored the NFL and decided to come back to Provo for his senior campaign.
Although the Cougar linebacker was not the edge-rushing force he was in 2012 this fall (13.0 sacks down to 4.0), he has still enjoyed an extremely productive senior season.
Overall, Van Noy racked up 63 tackles, 16.0 tackles for loss, a career-high 14 quarterback hurries and displayed some solid skills once again in pass-coverage. Van Noy recorded a career-high in passes defensed (seven) and snagged two interceptions. Best of all, the linebacker’s unique frame (6’3″ 245 lbs.) and athleticism would make him a valuable asset for any team to have at their disposal if they need him to cover tight ends.
A player with Van Noy’s versatility would make Pittsburgh’s defense much stronger in sub-packages, and the prospect of moving him around as an inside linebacker, outside linebacker or defensive end would greatly benefit the unit as well.
Keep in mind that Pittsburgh’s brass could still stand to acquire more depth at the inside and outside linebacker positions. Moreover, the Steelers’ defense is in need of more athletic personnel who possess the ability to turn in splash plays and can create favorable matchups when opposing offenses spread the field against them.
So if you readers have the time, tune into the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl tonight. The game between B.Y.U. and Washington begins at 9:30 P.M. ET, and it will be interesting to see whether or not Van Noy can improve his draft stock against a Pac-12 foe.
Like “NPC” on Facebook: Nice Pick, Cowher