The Detroit Lions rebound from a peculiar first round pick to take BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy in the second.
The Lions traded up to pick No. 40 from pick No. 45 in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks. Detroit added in its original fourth round (111) and seventh round picks to sweeten the deal, while the Seahawks added in their fifth rounder to the exchange.
Initial reaction: Ecstatic.
I have a man crush on Van Noy, as noted in my top ten needs list. This linebacker is exactly what head coach Jim Caldwell is looking for and more. A pass-rusher with excellent pass coverage skills, the 6-foot-3, 245-pounder is versatile enough to play in the 4-3 or the 3-4. His talent is high enough to supplant Ashlee Palmer as a starting outside linebacker by week one.
Van Noy’s highlight season came in 2012 when he accumulated 13 sacks, 22 tackles for loss and two interceptions. The big-time stats led to Van Noy being named the Defensive Performer of the Year. Last year, Van Noy’s sacks dropped to four, a total which may have attributed his availability at pick 40.
All of a sudden, Detroit has a wealth of playmaking ability at linebacker. The trio of Deandre Levy, Stephen Tulloch and Kyle Van Noy makes the position a certain strength for the upcoming season. Palmer will likely go back to his 2012 role as a key reserve and special teams ace.
This pick is a reminder to us all to learn from our past mistakes. Two years ago, the Lions made a regrettable selection in the second round. Detroit took Ryan Broyles when super-stud linebacker Lavonte David was just waiting to be plucked. David, selected just four picks later, went on to have one of the best seasons in linebacker history last year, while the injury-plagued Broyles has done a whole bunch of nothing.
Maybe, last years’s first rounder, Ezekiel Ansah, is to thank for the genius pick. Ansah roomed with Van Noy at BYU and must have put in a good word for his close friend.
No matter how it happened, the Lions fell in love with the right guy this round. Be excited for the third!