Mmmmm, I think you're mistaken. Van Noy has completely dominated in plenty of games against big schools. You're making the same mistake everybody did on Russ Wilson. I've stood next to Van Noy. I'm 6'1" and 220 most of the time, played as high as 265. He is stocky. He isn't built terribly differently than Urlacher was in college. His height makes him look skinnier. I usually call this the Eddie George phenomenon. He looked skinny, but was a beast and would run over anybody. It was because he was extraordinarily tall for a tb, but had massive strength.
BYU has had a tougher schedule the last 2 years than a lot of schools, and having no offense worked Kyle constantly, and Van Noy has been downright dominant in every game. It isn't like he's good against New Mexico state and sucks against Notre Dame. He's the same week to week. Calling him a late round pick is hilarious. Absolutely hilarious. I trust your judgment on many things, but you've missed the boat entirely on who this kid is and what he's capable of.
Of course we're just having fun here, since we both spend a ton of time talking about guys. You have a higher percentage, but I'm playing Van Noy roullete, because if I hit it right then you guys will have to start listening to me.
I don't see Ansah as a DT at all. I think he's Jevon Kearse jr. Don't move him inside. He has the athleticism of Steve Emtman (best athlete for size I've ever seen at the combine).
I think Ziggy is like Clem that can drop back in coverage, i saw his coverage duties pick up as they used the zone blitz more, so I can see him being a good OLB that moves up as that 5th lineman that the TE now has to account for and either block him or hope he can get out and open and collect a pas before the QB is planted by Ziggy. He offers way more versatility than Jason Jones, who to me is a DE that isn't good enough to be a DE and is too lanky/tall and easy to move around at tackle. However... I will say this much.... I think bringing in a guy like Ansah is a good problem to have. He will be able to be used lots of different ways. If you have he, Clem, and Irvin on the field at the same time you are going to generate relentless pressure.
One last thing before I fall asleep. The weights you see when you look through press materials and such are really deceiving. I know a lot more about what goes on in that school than you'd think. I know their full training program, I know what they do as far as player weights go, I know what players weigh from week to week. I'm not trying to give myself some big credit here. I have friends that work there, and my cousin is a sportswriter here that has locker room access and has for about 16 years or so. He tells me things if I ask, as long as he isn't breaking somebody's confidence. Last time I saw Leroy Hill, he was playing at about 220. He was in the 225-230 range last year. Van Noy is playing at 240 now. Thus my guess that he's 15 pounds heavier than Leroy who has no problems playing LB in the NFL beyond his talent limitations. I've spoken to and shook hands with many of the players I discuss. I'm not just blowing smoke. I'm a legit 6'1" and change. Steve Young is lucky if he's my height. Kyle Van Noy is CLEARLY taller than me. 6'3" outside linebacker that will probably come into the combine at about 245-250 and can rush the passer, stop the run, and cover TE's and even WR's when asked to? Yes please. All day, everyday.
As for Ziggy. He does have a skinny frame. He has track legs. Very powerful so he gets incredible burst and doesn't tire. He will battle and battle right to the whistle. But the body frame type of those who are native to Accra, Ghana isn't much bigger than he currently is. This isn't a dude that is going to bulk up to 300 pounds. I can see some very strong logic to moving Red Bryant back inside and Ansah outside. I can see some wisdom in rotating every guy on the line to different positions on the line and just trying to create one massive mismatch every play. On a certain passing down move Clem inside and have him face a center that has been slow to snap the ball. I bet he creates some issues in the middle, or at least confused the outside tackles and creates opportunities. These are the things that can happen when you collect unique talents.
One last thing I promise.... As you may know if you pay attention to me. I followed Brian Urlacher through high school and then college. Bronco Mendenhall was saying the kid was going to be an NFL Hall of Famer. Mediots punished Bronco for saying it. They mocked him relentlessly. Bronco is somebody I met in 1984 when his JC team (Snow College) was winning the JC National Title. He had gotten passed over by everybody because they said he was too small. He played safety as a walk-on and dominated the NJCAA and went undefeated and I attended every game that year that was in the state because my sister's boyfriend was the starting center. She was also Miss Snow College, so we'd go to the games. Bronco came over on a Sunday and had dinner with my family. He was an intense guy. He knew more about football than anybody I had ever met. So I am 12 years old just absorbing everything in about the formations, what everybody's job is, and so on. In an hour he taught me more about football than I had learned in my entire life and gave me a unique perspective into how a defense is supposed to work, stunting, blitzing, and on and on. It was the best class I ever took. Bronco then tried to go to BYU. He was 1st team JC All American. They said "nah". Bronco goes to Oregon State. He ends up being their best player and a graduate assistant. Gary Patterson leaves New Mexico and Rocky Long takes over and snags Bronco to coach defense.
I know this is longer than usual in the "get to the freaking point department." Sorry about that. But Bronco coaches Urlacher, and Urlacher does what Bronco predicts and dominates college football. People question his competition level and how good he looked at certain things and the fact that he has no position coming into the pros as he played too many in college. As we all know, he played O/D and special teams. He was amazing. Urlacher was actually considered too small. He weighed in at about 230 and there was talk that the Bears had lost their minds and drafted a safety and were going to play him at MLB. He was labeled a bust by Chicago media throughout training camp and there were even those who suggested they trade him away or cut him prior to the season starting and claiming he was on the bubble. Urlacher had some early struggles, just like Russ Wilson did, but by game 6 everybody shut up. Dick Butkus said to cut the kid some slack and he saw the following great things (rattled them off). Fans lightened up. Within a year, Urlacher is viewed as one of the top 3 MLB's in the game, and has had a very lengthy career and I believe will easily walk into the hall of fame. He was a game changer. He brought a team led by Rex Grossman to the Super Bowl.
How does Van Noy fit in? Because Bronco gets up and talks to boosters and alumni and is painfully honest. He will say whatever he thinks, but will spare kids feelings. For example, he will say, "Our secondary didn't get the job done. It's obvious. Our opponents scored 40 points on us, and that's my fault. I didn't prepare the team well enough for what they were going to see." He gives thin praise to players, because he is a firm believer in the team being the star, and everybody who knows him knows that Bronco praises them in team meetings and such all the time. He just isn't a guy that does it in the media one way or the other. Exceptions? He said that he's coached a lot of NFL players (which he has) and Ziggy is as ready for the NFL as any of them. Mendenhall usually has a top 10-ish defense, with very low rated players, but he does it. But he has said that Ziggy will be an OLB/DE for somebody and will turn heads from the first preseason game up through the next 10+ years. He felt it. He said it. I believe him, because he doesn't say it unless he firmly believes it and has lots of background info that makes him KNOW that the player will do well.
As for Van Noy, he said that he reminds him more of Brian than any other player he's worked with. He was asked semi-off-the-record about how he saw Van Noy's career going (expecting an answer like "He may start at safety or WLB and play 8 or 10 years. Who knows?"). He said something I hadn't heard in a good many years, and it was this, "there is no doubt in my mind that Kyle will play on Sundays, and will play extremely well for a long period of time. His career will end in Canton."
Take that for what it's worth. Maybe Van Noy ends up a late rounder or free agent signing and just never catches on with a team. It's entirely possible. But when his coach who has coached some real high draft picks and great players believes that strongly in him (and rarely takes a position on a player), then I will trust that he knows something. He sees something. He saw the same thing in Manti Te'o and was right and did everything he could to get both of them to come play their 4 years together at BYU. It was one split second decision at the end that changed that whole thing. But he was right about Urlacher, Te'o, and was right about Ansah when at the spring kickoff he said watch #47. Here's his story. Nobody has ever heard of him, but he'll be playing in the NFL next year.
So take it for what it is. Second half info (or first in some cases). I think you don't quite have a complete feel for Van Noy. It would be a pain, but if you sat down and watched every game of his from the last two seasons and charted wat he was doing on each play, you'd be blown away by what you saw on your paper at the end. I guarantee that. He has "it" and thanks to Russ Wilson, "it" is going to be taken a heck of a lot more seriously by NFL GM's coming into this next couple of drafts. Just never forget the John Randles out there. They are the all-time greats. The Aundray Bruces and Percy Snows are not. Randle, Jason Taylor, even guys like Rufus Porter and Fredd Young were great. They were all ripped apart by the likes of Mel Kiper as being nobodies that would never do anything. Well... even guys like me are right sometimes.
P.S. I was also pretty high on Wilson, Turbin, and Wagner last year having watched them extensively. I felt Van Noy had a more NFL ready physique than Bobby Wagner at the beginning of this football season. Wagner looked like a hoops player throughout college, but filled out nicely by about week 4 or 5. So I think any player can do the same if they have the desire and work ethic and access to the calories, and Kyle will. Ziggy is already pushing what his frame can handle, but he'd be a real magic piece to a puzzle of a defense. Either one of them would actually.
R.I.P. Dad. I miss you. You will never be forgotten
1/12/39 - 8/7/08