GREEN BAY – The Packers added to an edge rusher group that's unsure when it's top player, Rashan Gary , will be returning from injury.
Green Bay chose Iowa's Lukas Van Ness in the first round Thursday night with the No. 13 overall pick.
Van Ness (6-5, 272) had 13½ sacks among 19½ tackles for loss over the last two seasons, his only two on the field for the Hawkeyes after redshirting in 2020. He's just 21 years old and will turn 22 right before training camp begins.
He was named a freshman All-American in 2021 and then second-team All-Big Ten this past season.
Van Ness clocked an impressive 4.58-second time in the 40-yard dash at the scouting combine, showing off the athleticism in his 270-pound frame.
He began his college career as an interior defensive lineman before transitioning to the outside, and he could be an option to rush the passer from either spot depending on the defensive personnel package.
The Packers lost Gary, their top pass rusher, to a torn ACL last season in Week 9. No timeline has been given on Gary's return in 2023.
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