Kyle Van Noy – Linebacker/Edge Rusher (New England Patriots), Age: 28
Key 2019 Stats: 6.5 sacks, 56 tackles, 7 TFLs, 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 TD
Kyle Van Noy is one of the best all-around defenders in the NFL that you probably never hear about because he takes on all dirty work for the New England Patriots. After being drafted in the second round in 2014 by the Detroit Lions, Van Noy truly broke out after being traded to the Patriots in 2016.
Though he’s never accrued 10 sacks in a season, he has made an impact as an all-around defender for the Patriots. He can rush the passer, stop the run and even drop back in coverage on certain passing situations.
The Texans linebackers were one of their strong suits in the 2019 season due to stellar play from Bernardrick McKinney, Zach Cunningham, and Whitney Mercilus. However, finding a way to get sacks were a significant issue when J.J. Watt went down with a torn pectoral, and more pass rushers are needed this year. The team finished 27th overall in sacks, which was a major dropoff since having the Watt and Jadeveon Clowney tandem.
Improving the pass rush is one way to take the pressure off of the secondary is to give opposing quarterbacks less time to throw and forcing more errant passes. Van Noy won’t be the end-all solution to all of the Texans defensive-woes, but he should be a huge proponent to a team needing a spark.
New defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver should find creative ways to implement the former-Patriot into their scheme, and he won’t break the bank for any team that decides to make a run for him.