The NFL Draft kicks off with its opening spherical on April 27 in Kansas Metropolis, so Rivals is looking again at its projected first-round picks once they have been highschool prospects. We transfer on to our projected No. 20 – Iowa defensive finish Lukas Van Ness, who was a three-star prospect within the 2020 class.
The place they have been ranked: The Barrington, Ailing., defensive finish was a mid-three-star prospect who went unranked at his place and was No. 16 within the Illinois state rankings for the 2020 class.
Recruitment: After his official go to wrapped up at Iowa, Van Ness dedicated to the Hawkeyes in late June earlier than his senior season. His sister was additionally on the college and his father grew up an Iowa fan as he grew up in a small city close to Des Moines. Minnesota, Kansas and Kansas State have been his solely different Energy 5 presents.
Largest query: The combo of dimension, athletic means and energy are all there however Van Ness will want extra strikes than simply bull-rushing and overpowering opponents on the subsequent degree? Can he develop these to turn out to be elite within the NFL?
Recollections: We must always have recognized.
Van Ness was not on the nationwide scene a lot in any respect however he did check properly on the Rivals Mix Collection in Chicago and he was invited to the Rivals Camp Collection in St. Louis however he didn’t present up that day which might have given us one other analysis software to see simply how proficient Van Ness was in highschool.
I by no means noticed him throughout his time at Barrington however Rivals nationwide recruiting analyst Josh Helmholdt remembers a participant that positively had all of the items to be particular and was nonetheless placing them collectively. A couple of years on and Van Ness is predicted to be not solely a first-round draft choose however an excellent chance he might be among the many first dozen gamers chosen. Projecting him to No. 20 could be too low.
What makes Van Ness such an fascinating draft choose is that a variety of what he did efficiently in highschool is what made him extremely productive at Iowa as properly with 13.5 sacks over the past two seasons.
The previous three-star fires off the ball and wins the impartial zone to interact with offensive tackles who’re immediately pushed again because the pocket collapses. When that occurs, Van Ness does a superb job of disengaging from blockers and getting the ball provider on the bottom.
In highschool, Van Ness primarily performed off the sting however in his Iowa highlights from 2022 there was work each inside and outdoors. He has devastating energy everywhere in the defensive position, he can push the pocket and has unbelievable burst and so Van Ness has a legit likelihood to be further particular within the NFL.
At 6-foot-5 and 272 kilos, Van Ness is likely one of the best-looking defensive linemen on this draft and I want we might’ve taken a shot on him as a mid-level four-star popping out of highschool with hindsight being 20/20.