by Alan Miller, Assistant Producer, BYU Sports Nation, May 5, 2014
It’s Draft week in the NFL, and for BYU, this years’ draft class could earn the program more respect in the league. This year, five Cougars were invited to the NFL Combine. Van Noy, Hoffman, Sorensen, Manumaleuna and Unga are all hoping to land a spot in the NFL.
In the days leading up to the Draft, analysts, insiders, and even bloggers are constantly updating their Mock Drafts and Big Board’s. BYU Alum and ESPN Analyst, Trevor Matich, joined BYU Sports Nation and provided some insight on the Cougars’ place in the league. Rather than focus on who the teams would take with each pick, Matich told us how he thinks a few BYU prospects could find a home in the NFL.
On DB Daniel Sorensen:
“Sorensen I think is going to be a really good defensive player in the league if you put him in the right position.”
“He’s a safety that plays really in a triangle. If the tip of that triangle is in the C gap, kind of over the offensive tackle, and then it widens out to a base about 12 yards deep into the secondary. If you have him in that area covering and then when it’s a run have him go downhill into that C gap, he is fantastic.”
“You don’t want him out there covering tight ends like Dennis Pitta, you know, in space running all over the field, but he’s a guy who can be really helpful.”
On WR Cody Hoffman:
“Cody Hoffman as a receiver impresses NFL scouts because of his ability to go up and make plays, I mean those 50-50 balls he comes down with.”
“The thing he’s got to show scouts is that he can run precise routes because really over the last couple of years here, the nature of the passing game has not been a timing situation. Instead of being drop, set, throw to a spot on time it’s more like let’s find a guy who’s open. Well that affects how scouts can evaluate Cody Hoffman because they haven’t seen him do as many of the timing routes. But for a guy that can climb up and catch a ball, he’s the guy.“
On LB Kyle Van Noy:
“Van Noy to me is the guy that has the most intriguing possibilities in the NFL. Because of the nature of offenses now in the league, which are a reflection of the nature of rule changes in the league, which make it harder to oppose the quarterback, you can’t hit him most of the time. You can’t hit receivers at certain points downfield. It makes it easier for the passing game in the NFL, easier for a lot of scoring to happen and that’s intentional.”
“So if you have that kind of quarterback, good for you, it’s a quarterback league. If you don’t have that kind of quarterback, then what you need to do is degrade the other guys’ quarterback down to the level of yours. That means pass rush.”
“Kyle Van Noy is such a slippery, slick pass rusher because it’s hard to get your hands on him. He can be running right at what looks at a brick wall and then turn sideways like a little rat and just slips right through it and comes out the other side.”
In the Bronco era, only two players from BYU have been selected in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft. With the versatility he offers, Van Noy looks to become the third. If his name is ready Thursday night, he’ll be the tenth 1st rounder in BYU history.