I've expressed this before and I'll do it again. It wouldn't bother me a bit if the Carolina Panthers used all of their seven picks on the offensive side of the ball. Through the first five games, the defense has clearly outplayed the offense, but it isn't as if the Panthers have had to face a murderer's row of offensive juggernauts. As the season progresses, we should be able to get a better sense of how formidable this defense truly is, specifically when they play the New Orleans Saints.
Even if we can say that the Panthers defense is on its way to becoming legitimately special by the time the 2013 season ends, there will always be room for improvement. With that being said, I give you 6-Foot-3, 245-Pound outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy from Brigham Young University.
Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates
One would never guess that Forrest Gump wore leg braces as a child by the way he ran like the wind, and the same could be said about Van Noy. Of course, the former played offense at a national powerhouse in the SEC, while the latter has made his name on defense at a private university that is largely a college football afterthought. Regardless of what you think about the difference in the level of competition they were confronted with throughout the entirety of their careers, both were All-Americans, and that's all that really matters. Never mind the fact that one is fictional and the other is not.
Kyle Van Noy Is For Real
Unlike Gump, there's nothing imaginary about Van Noy or his game. He's a play maker through and through, and he lives for the biggest moments. This was most evident in BYU's victory over San Diego State in the Poinsettia Bowl last year when he dominated like none before him. By the time the game had ended, Van Noy had accumulated 3.5 tackles for loss, one and a half sacks, a pick-six, blocked punt, and a forced fumble, which he appropriately recovered for a touchdown.
Frankly, it's difficult to find a weakness in Van Noy's game, He's instinctual and flies to the ball. His game speed is such that he can cover tight ends(needs most improvement here), but is most valuable as a run-stopper and a pass rusher. Van Noy uses his hands exceptionally well, which allows him to disengage from blockers with ease. Perhaps his most important asset at the next level will be his scheme versatility. Because of this, he can play at a high level in a variety of defensive looks. The Reno, Nevada native is intelligent and athletic enough to play on either side of a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. I personally believe his value would be highest in the NFL on the strong side in a 4-3 defense. A trio of Davis, Kuechly and Van Noy would add a whole new dimension to this already burgeoning defense.
The Final Word
It is my belief that Van Noy would be a great addition to this team despite how well the Panthers linebacker corps currently looks. In all actuality, outside of Luke Kuechly, the situation is a bit tenuous. Thomas Davis continues to defy logic with his phenomenal play, but those bionic knees didn't come with a lifetime guarantee the last time I checked. Chase Blackburn is locked up through 2014, but he probably isn't a long term answer. Additionally, Rivera's training camp 'Kuechly 2.0' description of fifth round rookie AJ Klein appears to be nothing more than smoke and mirrors at this point.
When I look at Van Noy on film, I see shades of Von Miller. Each of them have that rare ability to take over a game. Can you imagine how much more the Panthers defense could put on opposing offensive coordinator's plates with the threat of that type of dynamic pass rush? If Van Noy is still their in the second round, the Panthers would be foolish not to at least consider him because he is one of a handful of defensive players that I would sign off on.
Enough about my opinion, what do you think CSR?
Take a look at his college statistics along with the video below, then let everyone know what you think in the poll and the comment section that follows.