Patriots trade for Lions linebacker Kyle Van Noy

For the third consecutive year, New England traded for linebacker depth in advance of the NFL's trade deadline.

The Patriots acquired third-year linebacker Kyle Van Noy from the Detroit Lions. Per NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, the Patriots will also receive a seventh-round pick form Lions in exchange for a sixth-round pick, via a source informed of the pending transaction. New England confirmed the acquisition on Wednesday.

Drafted No. 40 overall out of BYU in 2014, Van Noy lost the majority of his rookie season to abdominal surgery and was relegated to a backup role in 2015. Although he joined the starting lineup this season, he hasn't developed as the previous regime had hoped, Garafolo added.

It's no coincidence that the two teams found common ground on this deal. Lions general manager Bob Quinn cut his teeth under Patriots czar Bill Belichick for 15 years in New England.

The trade fits a recent pattern under Belichick, who acquired veterans Akeem Ayers, Jonathan Casillas and Jon Bostic for linebacker insurance and special teams options leading up to the trade deadline in each of the past two years.

The 2013 FBS Independent Defensive Player of the Year, Van Noy racked up 62 tackles for loss and 26 sacks in his BYU career. Considering his latent pass-rushing skills in addition to the ability to hang with tight ends in coverage and set the edge in the run game, the Patriots might have visions of Mike Vrabel-like potential if Van Noy reaches his ceiling.

Belichick boasts a pair of dynamic linebackers in Jamie Collins and Dont'a Hightower, with impressive sixth-round rookie Elandon Roberts earning more playing time as a sidekick. Van Noy will provide depth and versatility in the event of another Collins or Hightower injury.

The Patriots weren't finished making trades on Tuesday. New England sent backup tight end A.J. Derby to the rival Broncos in exchange for a fifth-round pick in 2017, NFL Network's James Palmer reported.

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