You look at the stat line from the Poinsettia Bowl and it’s difficult to figure why Van Noy wouldn’t have used that as a springboard straight to the NFL: 8 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3.5 TFL, a forced fumble, an interception, a blocked punt – oh, and two touchdowns. No finer resume than that box score can be compiled.
But hidden among the highlights was evidence of a few of the things NFL scouts might find slightly concerning about Van Noy, who, at 235 pounds, is slightly undersized.
He is quick enough to shoot gaps, sidestep slower linemen and make plays in the backfield. No question. Too often, though, he can be blocked by a tight end or a back. If you’re projected to be a pass rush threat as an outside backer in a 3-4, you’re going to have to beat left tackles. And those guys know how to handle a speed rusher without a backup plan.
Van Noy’s speed in pursuit and his play in space make him perhaps a better fit for a 4-3, where he could have more room to roam unblocked and not run the risk of getting entangled at the line of scrimmage. Can he still create pressure blitzing from the second level? Maybe that’s something we’ll find out from watching BYU this season.