15 most important Patriots for 2019: No. 10, Kyle Van Noy

With the Patriots off until training camp, we’re having a series featuring the 15 most important Patriots players for the upcoming season. The countdown will continue for the next several weeks.

No. 10: Kyle Van Noy

Position: Linebacker

2018 stats: 92 tackles, 3.5 sacks, one interception, two passes defensed

Why he’s No. 10: Van Noy is one of the more underrated players not only on the Patriots, but in the entire NFL. Consider this: there are only four players in the NFL since 2016 (including playoffs) that have over 200 tackles, more than 10 sacks, 20-plus quarterback hits and at least two interceptions. They are Lorenzo Alexander, Khalil Mack, Vince Williams and Van Noy. The outside linebacker can do a number of different things for the defense whether it's lining up on the edge and rushing the passer, or playing a traditional outside linebacker spot. It's scary to think the Lions essentially gave him away for free at the 2016 trade deadline.

Given his ability to play all over the front-seven, he's a very valuable member of the defense and has even been called a leader of the unit by Bill Belichick. With the departure of Trey Flowers, he may be asked to line up on the edge more and rush the passer, which is something he wasn't able to do much of in Detroit. While he isn't one of the biggest names on the defense, he's certainly one of the most important given all the things he can do.

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