Lions draft notes: Van Noy feels connection with Caldwell

The Lions are excited about Kyle Van Noy's ability to create turnovers.

Russell Isabella/Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

ALLEN PARK, MICH. — New Detroit Lions linebacker Kyle Van Noy had a feeling he could end up in Detroit after a candid conversation with coach Jim Caldwell.

Van Noy, the Lions’ second-round pick (45th overall) from BYU, arrived in Detroit Saturday and quickly donned a Honolulu blue golf shirt with the Lions’ logo and met with the media.

Both Van Noy and Caldwell mentioned a talk the two had during a pre-draft visit.

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"Sometimes things develop pretty quickly, and you get a chance and you hit it off with a guy or you get a pretty good, clear understanding of each other," Caldwell said. "It didn’t take Kyle and I very long to get to know one another pretty well.

"Had some pretty special moments. A lot of it’s obviously because of the fact of the kind of person he is. He’s open, he’s honest, he’s passionate. He thinks about what he says and he means what he says."

Van Noy said Caldwell was very forthright in their conversation.

"He picked me apart," Van Noy said. "He kind of told me what I needed to work on, and he was really honest and upfront. That’s the kind of person I am, as well."

Van Noy said Caldwell and defensive coordinator Teryl Austin both discussed some nuances of the game that they thought Van Noy could work on right away.

But Van Noy and Caldwell also found they had common ground off the football field, too.

"We’re both simple people," Van Noy said. "I don’t need much. I’m a homebody. I like to sit at home and watch movies and hang out with my fiancee. I’m not really in the limelight. That’s not my thing.

"Just having a heart-to-heart over being simple people and coming from where he’s from and where I’m from, it was awesome."

In addition to quickly developing a relationship with his new coach, Van Noy will have a comfort level with some of his teammates, particularly Ziggy Ansah, whom the Lions took in the first round last season.

Van Noy’s conference call with the media Friday was delayed because he was on the phone with Ansah.

"He has been such a great friend, a brother," Van Noy said. "Going through this whole process, he’s reached out and has been awesome."

Van Noy also knows Travis Swanson, the Arkansas center the Lions drafted in the third round, and Nevin Lawson, the Utah State cornerback the Lions took in the fourth round.

Van Noy said one player not affiliated with the Lions that he admired as a kid was Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks.

"He was the person I watched growing up," Van Noy said. "Tampa Bay Buccaneers, that whole team, they just played the right way. He’s a good person on and off the field, and I respect him a lot."

The Lions are excited about Van Noy’s ability to create turnovers. He had 11 forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and seven interceptions. He returned three of his fumble recoveries for touchdowns.

"One thing I know that (director of pro personnel) Sheldon White talked about at the town hall meeting was needing closers," Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said. "Kyle is that that kind of player."


After seeing Michigan’s Taylor Lewan and Michael Schofield go in the first and third round, respectively, Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard go in the first round and Penn State’s (Southfield) Allen Robinson go in the second round, it took a while for more players from the state get drafted.

The Green Bay Packers took Saginaw Valley State wide receiver Jeff Janis in the seventh round, 236th overall.

The New England Patriots took Michigan wide receiver Jeremy Gallon in the seventh round with the 244th overall pick.

Gallon told reporters in New England, "I was speechless. It was a blessing just to get that phone call finally."


Once the draft was over, news started coming in from other Michigan players that they had signed as undrafted free agents.

MSU receiver Bennie Fowler, via his Twitter account, @b_fowler13, said," Happy to announce that I will be a DENVER BRONCO!!!"

MSU safety Isaiah Lewis, via his Twitter account, @showtimezo9, said, "God is truly great. I can finally say that all of my hard work has paid off. Happy to be able to say that I’m a Cincinnati BENGAL!!!"

Lewis will be reunited with fellow "No Fly Zone" member Dennard, drafted by the Bengals with the 24th pick.

MSU defensive tackle Tyler Hoover, via his Twitter account, @TylerHoover91, said, "Proud to say I have signed with the Indianapolis @Colts. #ColtsNation."

MSU’s Riley Bullough said on his Twitter account, @RileyBullough, "Congrats to @Bullough40 for signing with the Houston Texans!!!!!!" He was referring to MSU linebacker Max Bullough, his brother.

On his own Twitter account, @Bullough40, Max Bullough said, "Excited to get to work and back to what I’m best at … Football! #Texans"

MSU defensive tackle Micajah Reynolds originally said via his Twitter account, @CallMeCaj60, that he was headed to the New England Patriots but then changed course.

"So one thing that I am learning too quickly is that this is a business. Just made a major business decision. I will playing for the Saints," Reynolds tweeted.

MSU linebacker Denicos Allen was invited to Carolina Panthers rookie camp, according to reports on Twittter.

Michigan safety Thomas Gordon signed with the New York Giants, also according to reports on Twitter.