MILWAUKEE – Welcome to Wisconsin, Lukas Van Ness.
With the 13th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers selected Van Ness, a 21-year old defensive end from the University of Iowa.
Although he never started a game for the Hawkeyes, Van Ness recorded 14 total collegiate sacks in two seasons.
Van Ness, listed at 6-foot-5 and 264 lbs., is expected to step in as a replacement immediately for the injured Rashan Gary, according to ESPN’s draft analyst Matt Miller.
Miller added that Van Ness “is an ideal fit for the Packers’ scheme, as he can align off of the edge, but also reduce down inside during passing downs.”
Coincidentally enough, Miller’s NFL comparison for Van Ness is current Packers defensive end, Preston Smith.
Smith, set to turn 31 this season, joked via social media about the number his new teammate wore in college.
After being drafted, Van Ness said it “feels so good to be a Green Bay Packer.”
The Big Ten Network posted a collection of his highlights on YouTube:
Green Bay acquired the 13th overall selection as part of the pick swap involved in the trade with the New York Jets for quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
With the 15th pick, formerly owned by Green Bay, New York picked up Wisconsin native Will McDonald IV, an outside linebacker from Iowa State. McDonald is from Pewaukee and attended Waukesha North high school.