Lukas Van Ness NFL Draft
Home College FB 2023 NFL Draft Focus: Lukas Van Ness

2023 NFL Draft Focus: Lukas Van Ness

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Welcome to the inaugural edition of the 2023 NFL Draft Focus. In this series, we will look at the incoming prospects hoping their names will be heard on draft night. Be sure to check often as we will produce content until the event’s start.

BACKGROUND

Lukas Van Ness is a defensive end prospect out of Illinois. In high school, he played multiple sports so this helped him develop different skills. 247 Sports listed him as a three-star recruit. He committed to joining the Iowa Hawkeyes for his college career.

COLLEGE CAREER

His college career was off to a slow start as he opted to redshirt his freshman year. His redshirt freshman year was impressive as he had 33 total tackles and seven sacks. He was awarded by the Football Writers Association of America with a Freshman All-American.

2022-2023 COLLEGE CAREER

Lukas continued his redshirt freshman career with a steady second year of playing. He ended the year with 36 total tackles and six and a half sacks for Iowa. His best game was against Nevada where he had eight total tackles and one and a half sacks. Against Iowa State, he blocked two kicks and was awarded the Big Ten Conference Special Teams Player of the Week. He was awarded the Second-team All-Big Ten for his efforts.

STRENGTHS: Strength

It’s something else if your nickname is “Hercules”. He can bull rush and collapse the pocket, making life difficult for the offensive line and the quarterback. His mix of strength, speed, and length makes him a viable weapon in every snap. He also has a spin move so it’s not all pure strength. He has been rising up draft boards ever since the start of the 2022-2023 season.

WEAKNESSES: Limited Experience

One of the more interesting facts about Van Ness is that he never started a game in his two years at Iowa. This is similar to a QB who only played one full season but is projected to be a first-round pick. Even if he still gets reps, he lacks experience and it sometimes is shown on the field. He will also need to improve on blocking schemes. Teams were using this on him to confuse him.

PLAYER COMPARISON: Trey Hendrickson

TEAMS WHO COULD DRAFT HIM

Lukas Van Ness is a popular prospect because of his versatility. He can play inside and out and teams will be drooling for him. Look for his name to be called most likely in the Top 10. Chicago at nine and Philly at ten are teams to watch out for as they could shore up on the defensive side.

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