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Lukas Van Ness 2023 NFL Draft Profile

Lukas Van Ness may never have started a game in his time at Iowa yet he has experienced a meteoric rise up draft boards in the past months.
Lukas Van Ness

Lukas Van Ness NFL Draft Overview

Position: Edge
Height: 6’-5”
Weight: 272 pounds
School: Iowa

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2023 NFL Draft: Lukas Van Ness Scouting Report

Lukas Van Ness may never have started a game in his time at Iowa, yet he has experienced a meteoric rise up draft boards in the past few months. In his youth, Van Ness was a hockey player first and may not have seen himself achieving the heights that he has in football. He was a huge fan of ice hockey, the NHL Chicago Blackhawks as well as other sports of the Chicago area. His mom, however, pushed him to try football and the rest was history.

The toughness he learned in hockey translated well to the football field. Universities looked at him as a three-star recruit coming out of high school. While he had many offers from different colleges in the Midwest area, he settled on Iowa. Along with family members that had attended the university, Van Ness notes he was really sold on the pitch that the coach had made to him about the culture. He was ready to take a dive and buy in to the culture Iowa had in place.

Lukas Van Ness remembers that he came in just wanting to earn the respect and trust of his fellow teammates, he not only earned that but also earned the nickname ‘Hercules’. Van Ness bought into the Iowa culture and played on the interior defensive line for his first season. Striving in this role he feels he truly found his niche when he kicked out to the edge and the tape reflects that as well. While he may not have started in a single game in his college career, in two seasons he registered 13.5 sacks and 69 tackles.


  • Extremely versatile, played on the interior defensive line before moving out to the edge;
  • Keeps legs moving with an unrelenting motor, this guy is the like Energizer Bunny;
  • Leaves the opposition in the dust with an elite spin move;
  • Great size and wingspan for an edge rusher;
  • Understands how to use his size to his advantage by taking on stronger opponents with leverage;
  • Understands how to win with his hands and uses aggressive hand placement to his advantage.


  • Never started a game in college despite playing a moderate amount of the snaps;
  • Struggles against counter and cut blocks;
  • Experience, played only one year on the interior and one on the edge;
  • Lacking a variety of moves;
  • Play recognition leaves room for improvement.

NFL Comparison: Trey Hendrickson

Teams With A Need: Philadelphia Eagles, Houston Texans, Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Detroit Lions

Projection: Mid First Round

Bottom Line on Lukas Van Ness

Lukas Van Ness has been an exciting player to watch come into his own; perhaps the most intriguing part is that he has yet to hit his prime. He may be looked at as some teams as a project. Other teams will see a potentially significant reward for investing in him. Van Ness had flashes of brilliance against some of the top talents in this years draft with his tape against Paris Johnson Jr. and Peter Skoronski. His versatility in college makes him an easy fit with a number of teams in a variety of defensive schemes. Van Ness has proven he has the right mindset to show up and earn his spot every day no matter where or when he is drafted. Any team that lands him is getting a prospect with significant potential.

Main Image: Kirby Lee – USA TODAY Sports


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