The Green Bay Packers drafted defensive lineman/edge rusher Lukas Van Ness with the 13th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The addition of Van Ness in the first round ensures that the Packers defense will have eight first round picks on it (should Eric Stokes be healthy enough to play). The question, of course, is whether or not Rashan Gary will be healthy enough to play in Week One. No matter what the answer to that question is, multiple analysts are predicting big things for Van Ness.
Lukas Van Ness Will Be an Instant Impact Player for the Green Bay Packers
In a recent “mailbag” article on The Athletic, Matt Schneidman was asked what three rookies he believed would be the biggest contributors to the Packers this season. Schneidman listed Luke Musgrave, Jayden Reed, and Van Ness:
“I’ll go Lukas Van Ness as my third, not just because he’s a first-round pick but also because he should be in the edge rotation whether Rashan Gary is ready for Week 1 or not.”
So, regardless of Gary’s health, Van Ness will likely get plenty of snaps on defense, and Schneidman believes he will make the most of them.
Bleacher Report, too, believes that Van Ness will make some noise, starter or not:
“While Van Ness may continue as a backup early in his NFL career, it’s because he’s working in a pass-rushing platoon that also includes entrenched talent like Rashan Gary and Preston Smith. That will put a cap on the number of snaps he might get as a rookie, but he should still notch enough sacks and tackles for loss to put himself on the map.”
For obvious reasons, all eyes will be on Jordan Love and the offense this year. After all, every single pass catcher that is projected to be in the rotation this season is either a first or second-year player. That being said, fans should not be quick to forget about Lukas Van Ness. It sounds like he will be a pretty special player.
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