The Brigham Young Cougars could have back-to-back years of first round NFL draft picks. Ezekiel Ansah was selected by the Detroit Lions with the fifth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy has a shot at being a first round pick in 2014.
Everybody in Cougarland knows that Van Noy is a much more developed player than Ansah, and if they had to pick only one they would probably go with Van Noy. However, it was not a sure thing that Van Noy would have been a first round pick if he had left school this year. That has caused many to speculate on what is holding back Van Noy from locking up a first round spot.
Van Noy is listed at 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds on the current BYU roster, however, a year ago at BYU's football media day he said in an interview that he was 242. A CBSsports.com article last week said Van Noy was 240 pounds. Size seems to be the popular opinion among fans, draft analysts, and
others who pretend to know what NFL decision makers are thinking.
One thing is sure--it is NOT his size.
The NFL Draft is when those NFL decision makers can't hide what they are thinking. Looking at the first round of the recently completed NFL draft, Van Noy is, roughly, the same size as the linebackers who were drafted.
Jarvis Jones, 6-foot-2, 245 lbs., OLB
Alec Ogletree, 6-foot-2, 242 lbs., ILB
With the third overall pick, the Miami Dolphins selected 6-foot-6, 248 pound outside linebacker, defensive end hybrid Dion Jordan. At that height, Jordan's build would be leaner than Van Noy. Jordan's speed, however, made him such a coveted commodity. The game tape shows Van Noy has great game speed.
Another interesting first round pick to consider is Barkevious Mingo. He is 6-foot-4 and 241 pounds. Mingo is listed as a defensive end. Obviously, his size did not deter the Cleveland Browns from selecting him with the sixth overall pick even though he will regularly line up against an offensive lineman who outweighs him by 60 pounds.
It goes without saying that linebackers are not expected to be as big as the defensive linemen.
It seems that what the NFL wants on defense is playmakers. Van Noy is definitely a playmaker. BYU fans know it. Now that Van Noy is on the NFL's radar by the end of 2013 all 32 teams will know it, too. That should make him a consensus first round pick on the 2014 mock drafts.
If Van Noy is not a first round NFL draft pick in 2014 it will not be because of his size. It will be for another reason.
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