The LA Chargers made yet another free-agent signing after the 2022 NFL Draft on Thursday as it was reported that the team met with and is expected to sign former Patriots linebacker, Kyle Van Noy. Van Noy is the second free agent the team has signed after the draft after inking a one-year deal with veteran cornerback Bryce Callahan.
Van Noy is someone who has thrived under Bill Belichick and was an important defensive piece in the team's last two Super Bowl-winning teams. He followed Brian Flores to the Miami Dolphins and had a decent season before returning to New England last season and having another solid season.
The 31-year-old linebacker obviously is not in his prime anymore but he still has a lot to offer to the LA Chargers. Don't let his previous experience in the league fool you, though. While he has plenty of experience playing in the box in the NFL, that is not likely going to be where he gets most of his playing time on the LA Chargers.
Instead, Kyle Van Noy offers EDGE depth for the LA Chargers defense.
Adding edge-rushing depth is something we have outlined multiple times here at Bolt Beat and that is exactly what the team does with this signing. Van Noy has experience both in the box and on the edge but based on the roster outlook heading into 2022, it is the latter that is more important.
Van Noy gives the team a second solid depth option alongside Chris Rumph. As good as Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack are, an arguably more important aspect to building a good defensive line is building a deep defensive line. Van Noy does just that.
Van Noy adds another pass-rushing presence at EDGE for the Chargers while also being someone who the team could drop into coverage in certain schemes and packages as an outside linebacker. While a bit on the slower side, Van Noy's coverage ability is more than passable for an outside linebacker, giving the team more versatility in what it can throw at teams.
Van Noy is already trending to be a primary EDGE player as well. According to Pro Football Focus, Van Noy played more snaps at EDGE last season (435) than he did in the box (336). Brandon Staley's defensive scheme lives on emptying the box and getting defensive backs on the field, so there will be fewer snaps for Van Noy to play there.
Does this mean that Van Noy won't play any inside linebacker in the box? Not at all. Staley values versatility and whether it be because of injuries or certain matchups, Van Noy likely will see some time in the box for the Bolts. But that is not the reason why he was brought in.
He was brought in to add depth at EDGE, which was sorely needed in this LA Chargers defense.