Could Iowa football's Lukas Van Ness end up with the Packers in the NFL draft?
After declaring for the NFL draft earlier this month, Lukas Van Ness was featured in the first round of USA Today's mock NFL draft at No. 15, going to the Green Bay Packers.
Compliments were thrown Van Ness' way — after making a jab at pass-catchers, that is — describing the Hawkeye as a "versatile defender" with "impressive physical traits that give him a sky-high ceiling."
Despite the redshirt sophomore never getting a college start, the Iowa defensive back nicknamed "Hercules" could make a name for himself in the NFL.
Lukas Van Ness' all-time stats with the Hawkeyes
Although he was never a starter, Van Ness boasts 71 tackles for the Hawkeyes, with 38 coming from the 2022-23 season, where 17 of those were solo. He had 13.5 sacks throughout his career with Iowa football, according to the university.
He hit his game-highs last season with 8 tackles vs. Nevada and 1.5 sacks against Purdue.
Why the Packers would draft Van Ness
Green Bay consistently prioritizes defensive players in the first round. Since 2012, the Packers drafted just one offensive player — Jordan Love — with their first-round selection.
Van Ness wouldn't solve every issue for Green Bay defensively, but he'd be an immediate contributor. The Packers tallied just 34 sacks in 2022-23, which tied for 28th-worst in the league.