The former linebacker of the Detroit Lions was shipped out of town in 2016. Now, there’s a new player who could fit his role.
Almost everyone was shocked to see linebacker Kyle Van Noy and a seventh-round pick get traded to the New England Patriots for peanuts (sixth-round pick), especially after such a high investment (second round, 2014). Finally, in 2018, the Detroit Lions might’ve found their own version of KVN in Trevor Bates.
Drafted by the Indianapolis Colts, Bates was a seventh-round pick in 2016. Following his only active game, he got cut but quickly signed to the Pats practice squad, even getting himself a Super Bowl ring. The following year, he floated between their practice squad and with the New York Giants.
Currently, with the Lions, Bates now has upgraded to the active roster once again, after initially starting off this season’s campaign on the 53-man roster before landing on the practice squad. So, how does he fit in this defense?
Like Van Noy (Bringham Young), Bates (Maine) is a former college edge rusher that lacks the ideal length to thrive on the edge. This made both players switch their roles in the NFL to predominately off-ball linebackers.
The transition has come with ups and downs, but having familiarity with the defense head coach Matt Patricia brought from New England to Detroit has really made a difference. His play stood out in the preseason setting the edge, playing in space and tackling on special teams.
Trevor Bates instantly juices up the punt and kickoff coverage units, possibly adding some flare on defense rushing the passer and stopping the run.
I think Detroit Lions fans can expect some surprising contributions from their newest linebacker. It would make sense to see him active against the Miami Dolphins. I’m excited to find out how things shake out and I hope he sticks around.