21-year-old defensive end Lukas Van Ness was stoked about being drafted no. 13 overall by the Green Bay Packers in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. His dad Jason, though, was flat-out ecstatic. Maybe TOO ecstatic.
An odd moment was caught live Thursday at the Van Ness household when the customary “family reacting to son/boyfriend being drafted” video reaction was being shot.
The new Packers star, who will wear number 90 for the team, was elated at being drafted, sitting on the family sofa hugging his mother Leanna, sisters, and girlfriend Frankie Kmet, who happens to be the sister of Chicago Bears tight end Cole Kmet.
Jason Van Ness, however, was on his feet, pumping his fists and celebrating. And then, in a moment that has gone viral, he hugged his son’s girlfriend and proceeded to slap her twice on the back side.
Lukas Van Ness’ Dad with a double ass slap on national tv #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/NbDf1RtAMQ
— RGF (@rgfray1) April 28, 2023
This isn’t exactly earth-shattering news, of course, but it did garner a lot of attention and produced many a “yikes” reaction among sports fans. Chalk it up to a very, very excited father who, totally, did not mean to siphon away some of the attention his son is getting post draft day.
Butt-slapping detour aside, Van Ness is expected to be a field-ready player who will make his mark this season on a team that will definitely need some help in the area of edge rushers.
Rashan Gary, one of the NFL’s very best edge rushers, is coming off a torn ACL and the Packers are not sure if he’ll be ready to play by the start of this coming season. Realistically, they’re not even sure if he’ll be the same Rashan Gary when he does come back.
Van Ness, who has been projected as NFL-ready and mature beyond his years by scouts, gives the team some insurance in that area.
“I do think he’s going to play right away, and he’ll help us right away,” Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst told Packers.com, the team’s official website. “There’s so much technique to that to be able to win in this league. It all takes them a little bit of time. But I would expect him to be able to help us this year.”
Van Ness, meanwhile, is just happy to be coming to Green Bay.
“I’m at a loss for words, just finally coming to the sense of my emotions,” Van Ness said of being drafted in the first round by the Packers. “I’m happy to see this all come to fruition. Since I decided to come out about four months ago, I put my nose to the grindstone.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better result. I’m just so happy to be a Packer and I can’t wait to get out there and wear that green.”