Lukas Van Ness Hype Reaches New Heights As NFL Combine 2023 Will Take Center Stage!
A prominent player in almost every mock draft, Van Ness is a player the NFL draft community has really come across. Nicknamed “Hercules” and compared to Cocaine Bear By The Athletic’s Dane Brugler, the Iowa defenseman’s athletic traits and tremendous potential have, in the eyes of many, trumped his lack of starting experience and performance.
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NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah is the latest to commend Van Ness by placing the Barrington, Illinois native 18th on his recent Top 50 list of prospects.
Van Ness is a strong defender with the versatility to edge in or slide in and outplay the guard. He’s excellent at crashing the pocket with his bull rush, getting his hands in and driving opponents back with ease. He performs a chop move and a rip move, but needs to develop a more diverse repertoire.
Against the run, he has very strong hands to stack blocks up front and his combination of effort and speed helps him play from the back. For some reason he didn’t start in Iowa. That makes no sense. Overall, Van Ness has ideal qualities and his best football is yet to come. – Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network.
If you’ve followed the drafting process thus far, you know that the former longtime NFL scout has been a fan of Van Ness for some time. Jeremiah mocked the Iowa Pass rusher in the top 10 back in January! Jeremiah was joined by CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson, who placed Van Ness even higher on his Big Board in 15th place.
Van Ness didn’t start a game for Iowa last season, and there aren’t any real “wow” moments on tape like those found when watching Tyree Wilson. But Van Ness, like Drake Jackson and George Karlaftis a year ago, looks The part. He has the body type that gets NFL defense coaches sitting in their chairs, and while he’s 275 pounds now, he has another 10 to 15 pounds to add to his physique. He’s a good athlete, plays with both power and twitches, and he’s becoming a better pro than a college player. – ryan wilson, CBS sports.
As you can see, the top of the drafting world wasn’t shy at all about their lofty projections of Van Ness! Alongside Jeremiah and Wilson, CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso also led Van Ness into the top 10 in mid-January. Todd McShay also recently mocked him as this month’s top 20 pick!
Expect more Lukas Van Ness chatter with this week’s 2023 NFL Scouting Combine set!
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