The Detroit Lions snagged Kyle Van Noy in the second round, but people forget the Lions actually traded up to get the playmaking linebacker. Van Noy’s skill set is exactly what the Lions need on their defense, and with consistent improvement in the offseason and in the first few games, Van Noy will likely find himself playing all three downs for the Lions in 2014.
Right now, Ashlee Palmer is slated to start. Palmer is not a bad player, and has been consistently mediocre over the last four years. He played on special teams, paid his dues and then earned a starting spot this past season. It seems hardly fair to take that away from him, but the bottom line is Palmer is not a three down linebacker. Van Noy is predicted to be a better pass rusher, and better in coverage.
What Palmer does get you is a guy who doesn’t make a whole lot of mistakes, but the Lions are past that now. The standard should not be trying not to lose, it should be to win. The Lions defense notoriously played not to lose, which often times led to a porous secondary and no takeaways. Van Noy is the guy who can change that.
Van Noy was a turnover machine in college, and so far has shown the drive to continue that. In OTAs, he worked with the second string, and will likely do so through training camp. He’ll have to earn the spot for sure, but once he gets his chance, look for Van Noy to be a game changer on the defense for the Lions in 2014.