This pick was originally owned by the New York Jets, but the huge trade involving future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers to the Jets. Among the big trade package for sending a disgruntled Rodgers to the Jets was exchanging the 15th overall pick for the 13th overall pick.
In an interesting move, the Packers skip getting a key weapon for new starting quarterback Jordan Love in favor of dynamic defensive linemen in Iowa’s Lukas Van Ness.
Grading Lukas Van Ness to the Packers
The move for Van Ness is a pick that the Packers feel they needed to make more than potential concerns on the offensive side of the ball. The Packers were eighth in the NFL in pressure rates last season at 23.6 percent, but the defense accumulated only 34 sacks, which was tied for 27th in the league.
Van Ness has not been a starter for the defense of the Hawkeyes, but he was a unique tool for them to utilize. He is a player that can line up on the edge and create pressure with explosiveness, speed and power. He can also play the strong-side defensive end to help stop the run. Finally, Van Ness can also create a solid pass rush from the interior defensive line.
In the last two seasons at Iowa, Van Ness has accumulated 70 total tackles, 34 solo tackles, 19 tackles for loss and 13 sacks.
While this pick may not be a knockout selection in the eyes of several fans, Van Ness brings instant contributions to a defensive line that helps.