Eagles Prospect Watch: Van Noy, Urban And Ford

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl

If Kyle Van Noy decided out of high school that he’d rather catch passes than bat them down, there’s a chance he might have teamed up with Chip Kelly.

The BYU outside linebacker prospect was recruited by Oregon (then coached by Mike Bellotti) to play wide receiver, but ultimately opted for the defensive side of the ball.


"Teams were going both sides a lot," Van Noy said. "I had some offers that had me playing receiver and then I had some playing at outside linebacker. So I was recruited at a couple different positions, which was nice. It gave me a choice."

Looking back, it's tough to argue that Van Noy (6-3 1/4, 244 pounds) made the wrong decision. He had a fantastic career with the Cougars and was one of the most versatile defensive players on the field down at the Senior Bowl.

As a junior, he showed tremendous pass-rushing prowess, piling up 13 sacks to go along with 22 tackles for loss and six forced fumbles. But last season, Van Noy was asked to drop back into coverage more and excelled in that area as well.

"I’m down here to show that I’m physical playing against the run, that I can pass-rush and I can cover… I can do all three phases for a linebacker," Van Noy said. "I don’t want to be known for just one certain thing. I want to be able to have a team want me because of my versatility."

Much of the focus on the Eagles has been on the starting right outside linebacker position, but the truth is they need depth at that spot as well. For example, what would have happened last year if Connor Barwin went down? The defense didn't really have anyone else to play that "Jack" position on the left side.

Early projections have Van Noy going in the first two rounds, although there's still plenty of time for movement between now and May.

But given his versatility, length and production, Van Noy is a player to keep an eye on for the Eagles.

MORE BIG PEOPLE

During Senior Bowl practices, there were a handful of prospects who towered over the competition.

One of them was Virginia defensive lineman Brent Urban. Urban (6-6 1/2, 298 pounds, 33 5/8-inch arms) played a variety of roles in college.

"When I first went to Virginia, I was playing 3-4," he said. "I’ve played almost every position on the D-Line so I think I’m pretty versatile as far as transitioning to either front. So I think that’s a good thing I bring to the table."

The native Canadian specifically looked at 3-4 teams coming out of high school, but Virginia moved to a 4-3 after Urban's freshman year.

He went from a (two-gap) 3-4 defensive end to a 4-3 defensive end. Urban also played the 3-technique and nose tackle spots.

Urban had 11.5 tackles for loss last season. He only had one sack, but used his length to bat down nine passes. He tweaked his ankle during the week and did not participate in the Senior Bowl game. Urban is considered a mid-round pick.

DEE FORD IMPRESSES

Taking all measurements off the table and just focusing on on-the-field production, Auburn's Dee Ford was easily one of the stars in Mobile.

The DE/OLB was named MVP of Saturday's game with a pair of sacks and a pass deflection in the first half.

"I made a little money," he said, via NFL.com.

"I was able to apply some pressure early in the game, and it got me some (more) attention, and it freed some things up for some other guys. That's just a product of our practice. We've been doing this all week."

At 6-2 1/8, 243 pounds, Ford doesn't jump off the charts from a measurables perspective. But he has good length (32 3/4-inch arms), and there's no denying his production. Ford had 10.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss as a senior playing in the SEC.

If Ford continues to turn heads during the pre-draft process, he could be a first-round pick.

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  • GEAGLE

    Ford played his way into the 20-40 range. Word is he also has been impressive in interviews..wonder how long his arms are. if they are Brandon Graham sized! then I would take him off our board
    ..
    Van NOy will dazzle us during the interviews so he was always someone to keep an eye on

    • RIP illa

      All you gotta do is read Davis’s comments from reports this week. All he does is talk about versatility and pretty much how he wish he had another Berwin, than pure pass rusher!!! That’s why I think we’ll draft Van Noy or his type over a guy like Attachou or his type. But man after watching Ford last night…He’s what I want. A guy who can be a terror off the edge but has enough speed and athleticism to do more on the field. Kids a freak, and I also think Ealy is of that same ilk (gotta wait for the combine for him tho). I’d take that over another Joker any day.

      • Maggie

        Not being a coach or scout, I do not have a strong opinion on the draft, especially in January! However, should Attachou be drafted to play in the front seven, I’m afraid some folks might start to call him Sneezy. Then who would become Sleepy, Happy, Doc, Dopey, etc? Would young, blonde, and kinda cute Foles, who is still not fully “awakened” be Sleeping Beauty? For those with no sense of humor, this IS supposed to be amusing. Not a commentary on the talents or character of ANYBODY.

    • RIP illa

      BTW…I really hate your boy McGill. I think he’s the worst (figuratively) outta the big corners. He’s stiff, his back pedal is garbage and he sometimes abandons it all together, and I would want to move him to Safety…but he shows, not only bad technique and power, but a lackluster willingness in run support!!! And he’s not a burner. That at least would have been a saving grace for me. Was watching one of his cut ups (forgot which game) and threw up in my mouth, a little, at how poorly he was playing the position!!! think he’s a classic case of “big fish in a little pond” and once he gets to the next level, WRs are gonna show him who is who and what is what. He does have ball skills when he’s in the right spot.

      Out of the senior Bowl, the only corners that intrigue/impress me are Desir (who did get beat) and SJB and maybe Davis from Auburn. Was comfortable w/ all of them in mid rounds, but they are all trending up, so don’t know how I would feel about drafting them in the 2nd/3rd yet.

  • gary

    …a guy named Ford’s a writer’s dream….Edsel (lemon), Cobra (dangerous), Bronco (can;t be controlled)……kinda hoping for a Shelby Cobrastang…(powerful, fast, nimble and unfortunately, expensive….

    • Maggie

      First, a Mustang is a Ford, unfortunately. Second, Shelby’s are all doctored up with assorted additional parts, which do not come with the original product. We do not want ‘doctored up” players, do we? Third, Shelby Cobra is meant for one thing only. Speed. Chip likes versatility.

  • Eagles4Life

    Hmmm…where have I heard this before? Undersized DE/OLB with short(er) arms completely blows it out of the water all week at the Senior Bowl…

    Oh. 2010. Don’t do it, Chip!

    • GEAGLE

      You do realize Brandon Graham was a really coveted prospect coming out? Howie was hardly the only general manager that wanted him…microfracture surgery might have something to do with it

      • Eagles4Life

        I do indeed, but you can see in his case and others how measurables do have an effect on people’s game, especially on the dline. Simple physics give a long-armed tackle an advantage if all other aspects are equivalent. BG has to be that much better at his game to overcome that. Can some players do that? Absolutely, but it doesn’t make it easier.

        • theycallmerob

          but you can see in his case and others how measurables do have an effect on people’s game

          He was drafted to be a 43 end with mostly pass-rush responsibilities. BG probably would not have been more successful had he stayed there. The size aspect is only troublesome now that he’s an OLB in a 34.

          • Eagles4Life

            Do you mean to say he would have been more successful as a 4-3 end? He was better suited for the 3-4 from jump street.

    • JofreyRice

      eh, not so bad if you’re taking a guy like that to play OLB more than 4-3 DE and DT (situationally).

      • Eagles4Life

        Lol that’s true

    • RIP illa

      Ok I get what you’re trying to say, but there’s something’s that you’re leaving out, major things. Like how JR stated, the difference of position. How Graham only had one pass rush move and that was the bull rush, which means graham was all power and had no where near the 1st step explosion/get off that Ford has. Also how Ford is a supreme athlete. How Ford consistently beat his men w/ speed outside, and power and speed inside all week long. And how 32 3/4 arm length isn’t short at all. It’s average/normal. All these things are pretty huge differences when compared to Graham.

      • Eagles4Life

        Did you watch Graham in college? He had way more than just a bull rush. His first step was one of the better parts of his game, and BG’s arm length is half an inch shorter than Ford’s. Not a huge difference. He couldn’t do some of the same things he used to when he got to the league because tackles are better with technique, faster, and like I said before, longer.

        • RIP illa

          False. Graham in college 1st step wasn’t even close to Ford’s and funny how he had way more pass rush moves in college and then just completely forgot about all of them, save one when he got in the pros!!!

          • Eagles4Life

            Whole lotta bull rushing, huh?

          • RIP illa

            SMH!!! So we’re counting a speed rush as a move now??? A player literally runs fast to the target and that’s a move??? Ok so I’ll go along w/ it for the sake of your argument. So I do stand corrected…he had a total of two pass rush moves coming out of college!!! There was only one time when the announcer claimed a rip move. And that was Graham just shooting the gap (as he did several times on that highlight reel) and the OL had already lost and could do nothing but try to hold him. That’s not a rip move as the OL was already beaten and no move was needed!!! Literally Graham just kept moving forward while the OL had his arms wrapped around Graham’s chest!!! The other times he went inside, was one stunt (designed play not a move and using speed to shoot the gap while being pretty much unblocked) But why not…for the sake of your argument lets count that too. So outta a 9 min highlight reel, there was nothing but speed rushes, bull rushes and ONE rip move. Wow…you definitely got me there!!! I guess he really did just forget his plethora of moves once he got to the pros!!!

          • Eagles4Life

            Lol this wasn’t his entire college career. He used a spin move and others as well in his pass rush toolbox. What was Dee Ford using yesterday? The speed rush that you are in so much angst about right now lol. I’m not trying to knock the kid at all because I am a Noles fan and saw him ball out live and in person in Pasadena. I just see him in similar light as BG when it comes to us, and not all that different from Bruce Irvin. If he’s sitting there in the 3rd round, I’d be all on board, but not a top 50 pick. Excuse me for being leery.

          • RIP illa

            I’m sorry…you must be confusing me for someone that looks at highlights/highlight reels as an end all be all. Yes Ford “ate” w/ the speed rush yesterday. However, that’s not the only thing he did DURING THE WEEK of practice!!!

            And it’s ok to be leery. I am about a lot of prospects (in general) and since the Senior Bowl had a very underwhelming group of prospects this year. And this (if I’m reading it correctly) is where your argument/leery-ness falls completely apart…“I just see him in similar light as BG when it comes to us, and not all that different from Bruce Irvin.” Graham and Irvin our nothing similar besides the position they played!!! I don’t even understand that comparison. Unless you meant that he’s a combo of the two??? Even so Carol finally realized that Irvin is an OLB and not a DE. Inversely, Graham is a DE who should never be an OLB (and yes I’m talking in terms if a 4-3)!!! We’ll see if Ford can drop during the combine and his pro day, but the only solid comparisons to Graham are strictly height, position, and arm length!!!

            EDIT: And I know that wasn’t his whole college career, but YOU chose the source material, not me!!! Jason Babin also had varying moves in his so called “pass rush tool box”. One being the spin move…The slowest, worst, ineffective, spin move every displayed!!! See what I did there???

          • Eagles4Life

            That wasn’t the only thing BG did at the Senior Bowl either lol.

            I should have expounded a bit more, but didn’t feel like writing a thesis. I see him as a mix of the two. The thing about that pick was it was more of a luxury for the Seahawks, as in they didn’t have to depend on him as more than a situational guy. Our defense is nowhere near their caliber, so a round 1 or 2 pick spent on Ford isn’t a luxury. We need an OLB that’s going to be starter worthy.

            We’ll just have to agree to disagree otherwise, because both players coming out made their livings doing similar things. Ford is more versatile, but I don’t see him as much more than a situational pass rush guy at this stage, that again, I’m leery about because of his measurables.

  • ryan pertl

    Van Noy is the clear choice here. Everyone is intrigued by Ford because of his pass rushing ability but Van Noy is a guy that has proven he can be extremely productive as a pass rusher, cover LB, and on special teams. I urge everyone here to type “Van Noy vs San Diego St 2012″ into the search bar on youtube. I challenge you to find a more well-rounded and dominant performance by a defensive player. In that game he recorded 8 tackles, 3 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 1 FF, 1 FR, 1 INT, 1 punt block, and 2 TDs. The guy is the complete package and his stats being down this year was due to him dropping back in coverage way more this season. The real question is do we have to take him in the first or can we get him in the second? I’ve seen him projected to go as high as top 20 and as low as late 2nd.

    • RIP illa

      I agree w/ what you’re saying. Except I don’t know if he has proven to be an extremely productive pass rusher. Some say that his numbers dropped because Ansah left. Plus we also saw a very similar scenario play out w/ one of our players. Berwin!!! The exact same case was made for him (good and bad) when his numbers dropped. And we’ve seen him rush and know that there’s nothing special there. More so, that’s who a lot of us compare Van Noy to…Berwin, the game’s all to similar.

      Still I do think the Eagles target him, as I have said earlier in this thread. Still it’s hard to deny that there’s something special about Ford and especially since we are starving for a legit prospect that can be an elite or pretty damn close to it, pass rusher.

      • ryan pertl

        I see why you say that and I respect your opinion but I think there is much more to Van Noy than a Barwin clone. Van Noy has amazing instincts. Even though he dropped back in coverage more often than he rushed the passer in his final season he still managed to generate a lot of QB hurries. One game in particular I noticed that he got three QB hurries and all three of those hurries resulted in the QB throwing what should have been interceptions (1 INT, two dropped INTs).

        Barwin is a solid player as well but I think KVN has a much higher ceiling. Let’s not forget that Barwin rushed the passer 20% less than Cole did this season and only finished behind in sacks by three! I actually only recently became enamored with the idea of drafting KVN. The reason I’m excited about the idea is that it allows Billy Davis to be so much more creative with blitzing. Having a guy that the offense knows can’t cover to save his life at OLB takes part of the advantage of running the 3-4 away. Having only three down linemen allows you to bring blitzes from all over and confuse OL’s. With a guy like Cole in there some of that surprise is removed and when you do change it up you now have a liability in pass coverage.

        Having said all of this I’m incredibly excited for this draft. It’s so deep! I feel like there are numerous directions we could go and I would be happy all the same.

        EDIT: I forgot to mention that KVN has the frame to add more weight. Guys like Ford and Marcus Smith don’t.