2023 NFL Draft: Top 10 Edge Defenders and their fits with the Atlanta Falcons

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No. 5: Lukas Van Ness, Iowa

2022: 13 Games Played, 36 Tackles, 10.5 Tackles for Loss, 6 Sacks, 4 QB Hurries, 2 Blocked Kicks, 1 Punt Return, 0 Yards
2021: 14 Games Played, 33 Tackles, 8.5 Tackles for Loss, 7.0 Sacks, 3 QB Hurries, 1 Pass Deflection
2020: Redshirted

Lukas Van Ness has an ideal build and athleticism for a pass rusher in today's NFL. He's a good fit for a team that would use him the way that Aidan Hutchinson was used in Detroit in 2022. He has a good bend around the edge and can shadow mobile quarterbacks efficiently. Teams will appreciate how he can convert speed to power from a wide-9 to knock an offensive tackle on his butt. He has a great motor that allows him to attack quarterbacks even when chipped or doubled.

Van Ness needs to really improve his hands with some sort of boxing or mixed martial arts so that he can get more power in his punch. He can bull rush but doesn't have counters off of that. When he aligned at defensive tackle, he looked atrocious in his pass rush there and doesn't really fit in that role. If the Falcons take him, it makes more sense for them to use him as a stand-up rusher in three-man fronts and a true defensive end in four-man fronts. They shouldn't look at him at No. 8 overall though, there will be better players available, and Van Ness would be better as a trade-down option.

Player Comparison: Patrick Kerney