USA TODAY Sports shares final first-round Lukas Van Ness projection

The wait is over! The 2023 NFL draft’s first round is here tonight from Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri.

There’s been all sorts of speculation over the past several months about where former Iowa Hawkeyes star Lukas Van Ness will wind up. After a strong NFL combine showing, it’s finally time for the Barrington, Illinois, native to learn where his immediate football future will unfold.

With all sorts of mock draft predictions out there, including our own mock here at Hawkeyes Wire, it’s time to sort it out Thursday night.

Scroll to continue with content

Here’s USA TODAY Sports’ final draft projection from Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz. His prediction has been a popular landing spot for Van Ness.

He has the Green Bay Packers selecting Van Ness with the No. 13 overall pick in tonight’s first round of the 2023 NFL draft.

While an offensive lineman or tight end would be sensible for Green Bay as it begins a new era with Jordan Love at the helm, no one should be surprised if GM Brian Gutekunst sticks to his ways and bolsters the defense. Nicknamed “Hercules,” Van Ness is the very picture of the powerhouse pass rusher that Green Bay covets – and Rashan Gary’s recovery from a torn ACL along with Preston Smith’s age (31 in November) could urge such a move. – Middlehurst-Schwartz, USA TODAY Sports.

For the best local Iowa news, sports, entertainment and culture coverage, subscribe to The Des Moines Register.


For a franchise that’s moving on from Aaron Rodgers and turning the keys over to Jordan Love, some might think the Packers would first look to add an offensive weapon. There’s an argument to be made that Green Bay will initially look to be more defensive-minded with the transition from Rodgers to Love.

With that in mind, getting arguably the draft’s best edge rusher at No. 13 would be a fantastic way to kick off this next era of Green Bay football.


Say Cheese! Twitter reacts to Green Bay Packers' selection of Iowa star Lukas Van Ness

Social media explodes as Detroit Lions select Jack Campbell at No. 18

A look at how Lukas Van Ness fits in with the Green Bay Packers

Iowa Hawkeyes looking to flex NFL draft muscles, cross another draft milestone this weekend

Analysts share thoughts on Riley Moss' tape ahead of 2023 NFL draft


Contact/Follow us @HawkeyesWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Iowa news, notes, and opinions.

Follow Josh on Twitter: @JoshOnREF

Story originally appeared on Hawkeyes Wire