BYU’s Kyle Van Noy drafted in second round by Detroit Lions

Van Noy joins former Cougar teammate Ziggy Ansah in Detroit

NEW YORK CITY – BYU two-time All-American linebacker Kyle Van Noy was selected by the Detroit Lions in the second round with the 40th overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft on Friday night in New York City. Van Noy was the fourth outside linebacker and fifth linebacker overall selected in this year’s draft.

Van Noy becomes the 12th BYU player to be drafted by the Lions. Last year Detroit picked Van Noy’s close friend and former BYU teammate Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah with the No. 5 overall pick in the first round. A defensive end, Ansah went on to record the most sacks by an NFL rookie last season for the Lions.

“The Lions are starting a BYU pipeline,” BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “Detroit will not be disappointed. Kyle has matured and grown as a person and as a football player, and I couldn't be more proud of him. He's a fantastic football player. I'm looking forward to following his career in the NFL."

With his selection, Van Noy becomes the ninth former Cougar to be picked in the second round and the 20th BYU player to be taken in one of the annual draft’s first two rounds.  The 6-foot-3, 243-pound outside linebacker is the third Cougar linebacker and eighth BYU defender to be selected in the first or second rounds.  

Van Noy follows Ansah to mark the sixth time in school history BYU has had players taken in the first or second rounds in back-to-back drafts and the first time since offensive tackle John Tait and linebacker Rob Morris were first-round picks in 1999 and 2000, respectively. BYU also had consecutive drafts with players taken in the opening two rounds in 1972-1973, 1980-1981, 1981-1982 and 1984-1985. The 1980, 1981 and 1982 drafts mark the only time the Cougars have had three consecutive years with a first- or second-round selection.

Van Noy joins quarterback John Beck as the second-highest BYU draft pick since Mendenhall became the head coach in 2005. Ansah is the highest pick under Mendenhall and the highest-ever selection of a BYU defensive player.

In addition to Van Noy, other former BYU players picked in the second round include Beck (2007, 40th overall), tight end Doug Jolley (2002, 55th overall), defensive end Ryan Denney (2002, 61st overall), tight end Clay Brown (1981, 42nd overall), defensive end Mat Mendenhall (1980, 55th overall), fullback Todd Christensen (1978, 56th overall), wide receiver Golden Richards (1973, 46th overall) and offensive tackle Gordon Gravelle (1972, 38th overall).

Historically, Van Noy is the 14th BYU linebacker to be drafted. The last Cougar linebacker selected was Bryan Kehl, who went to the New York Giants in the fourth round of the 2008 draft.  Van Noy is the 140th BYU player drafted overall by the NFL, while an additional 150 Cougars have signed with NFL teams as free agents.

BYU’s first back-to-back All-American since tight end Dennis Pitta in 2008 and 2009, Van Noy was named to nine All-America teams over his final two season with the Cougars. As a senior in 2013, Van Noy received five All-America citations after being named to four All-America teams in 2012. The Senior CLASS Award finalist was named the 2013 FBS Independent Defensive Player of the Year after being named the 2012 National Defensive Player of the Year by College Football Performance Awards, an award that is exclusively based on scientific statistical rankings in determining overall contributions to a team.

In his four-year career at BYU, Van Noy played in 52 games and tallied 26 sacks, 32 quarterback hurries, 62 tackles for loss, 153 solo tackles, 226 total tackles, seven interceptions, 17 pass breakups, 11 forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, three blocked kicks, five defensive touchdowns and one safety.  He helped BYU go 3-1 in the postseason with three bowl victories, including an MVP performance in the 2012 Poinsettia Bowl that included 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, two touchdowns, one interception, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one blocked kick.

The versatile all-around defender and playmaker set school records for tackles for loss and defensive touchdowns. Van Noy converted a turnover into a touchdown during each season, taking three fumbles and two interceptions into the end zone during his career. He was the only FBS player in 2011 and 2012 to record a statistic in every major defensive category. 

From Reno, Nevada, Van Noy graduated from BYU in December with a bachelor’s degree in history.