Packers select Iowa defensive end Lukas Van Ness in first round

In the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft on Thursday the Green Bay Packers selected defensive end Lukas Van Ness from Iowa with their sole first round pick.

Rather than picking an offensive player to build around quarterback Jordan Love, Brian Gutekunst elected to solidify his defensive front. Green Bay lost Dean Lowry to free agency, and will be without pass rusher Rashan Gary early in the season while he recovers from a torn ACL.

Van Ness, who did not start for the Hawkeyes last season, earned second team All-Big Ten honors after registering 6.5 sacks last season. The third year lineman out of Barrington, Ill. also contributed on special teams with a pair of blocked punts last season against Iowa State.

At the Draft Combine Van Ness ran a 4.58 in the 40-yard dash, tying for sixth among defensive linemen and edge rushers this year.

Growing up Van Ness first played hockey before switching to football.