The Green Bay Packers have a number of moves they want to make this off-season. The pending Aaron Rodgers trade is obviously at the forefront of everyone’s mind. However, there are multiple other moves that the Packers are projected to pursue. A few of those include beefing up the defense. Going into the 2022 season, many predicted the Green Bay Packers to have a top-five unit in the league. That didn’t wind up being the case. The defense struggled much of the season, specifically against the run on a consistent basis. That being said, the Packers have been projected to add a defensive star that could help that those woes.
Green Bay Packers Projected To Draft DE Lukas Van Ness
According to a report:
Many fans are overlooking the need on the defensive line, but in this Green Bay Packers mock draft, the team addresses this need immediately. Lukas Van Ness is listed as an EDGE by most analysts and sites, but he is much more than that.
While Van Ness can line up as an edge rusher and thrive, especially early in the season when Rashan Gary could still be out, the Hawkeye thrived as a 3 Technique as well. With Dean Lowry gone, the Packers don’t lose an incredible talent, but they lose a player that served a large role for the team. Lukas Van Ness will be a massive upgrade on the defensive front, serving multiple roles.
According to Lukas Van Ness draft profile:
At 6’5″, 272 pounds, with arms 34″ long, Van Ness is legitimately a laboratory-built defensive lineman. He has high-end size, mass, and length but also carries it very well. With that size, he has the core strength, power, and leverage acquisition to rotate inside situationally, just as easily as he lines up at 5-tech or as a stand-up rusher.
Size is a big part of the equation for a versatile prospect like Van Ness, but what truly makes him so dynamic is his athleticism. He’s an explosive athlete with great build-up speed and foot quickness heading into contact. He shoots off the line from interior alignments and shocks blockers with the force he’s able to generate. Outside, he can stress tackles with his burst as well.
Van Ness’ numbers at the NFL Combine corroborated the athleticism that’s visible on tape. The Iowa EDGE ran a blazing 4.58 40-yard dash with a 1.64 10-yard split, and he also jumped 31″ in the vertical jump, as well as 9’10” in the broad. The cherry on top was his 7.02 three-cone — a number near the 90th percentile among defensive ends.
With Rashan Gary’s uncertain start to the 2023 season coupled with Preston Smith’s long-term availability, drafting aa defensive lineman with the talent Van Ness has could be extremely beneficial for this defense.
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