Is Lukas Van Ness in play for Chicago Bears to draft in top ten?
One name that has been associated with the Chicago Bears in the top ten has been Iowa pass rusher Lukas Van Ness. Should the team have interest, and is the top ten hype real?
Chicago Bears Draft Profile: Iowa DL, Lukas Van Ness
Luke Van Ness redshirted during his freshman season. Then, as an RS Freshman, he started to break out. He played 462 snaps and had 28 pressures and 14 run stops. Last season the numbers continued to increase up to 46 pressures and 18 run stops on 478 snaps.
He finished his Iowa career with 940 snaps, and 558 pass rush snaps. Van Ness moved up and down the line, and had 602 snaps inside, and 324 snaps outside. However, last season 304 snaps came on the outside. It is interesting to note that 69 of his inside snaps were in the A-gap, essentially lined up over the center.
Lukas Van Ness knew that the NFL combine would be a time for him to improve his stock and that happened.
His bench press is lower, but when you consider his arm length it is still a great athletic profile. The 40-yard dash is great, but the agility is what may spark the upside. At that weight, it shows that he can create power while also bending the corner to get to the passer. It is rare that players of his size test that well in the agility drills.
How Lukas Van Ness projects in the NFL
Lukas Van Ness is a power player who uses his arm length to his advantage. He understands leverage and does a great job playing low and getting his arms above his eyes. He had offensive tackles on skates when he was able to get his hands in the right place. Van Ness plays with intensity and is a strong run defender, both inside and outside. With how limited his playing time is, and how young he still is, it is easy to say that the best days are ahead of him.
Van Ness can also line up and down the defensive line. He can even line up in the A-gap, similar to Jadeveon Clowney, and attack the quarterback with full force.
Still, he is coming in with questions about his game. He relies solely on his power and his leverage. He does not have a lot of hand tecnique, and while the NFL combine showed that he has the ability to bend around the edge he has not shown the ability to drop low and turn the corner at Iowa.
NFL Comparison for Iowa DL, Lukas Van Ness
The best NFL comparison for Lukas Van Ness is Carlos Dunlap. They have similar athletic and physical traits. They also play a very similar style. Dunlap plays with similar leverage, but also was unable to utilize high-end upside because he relied solely on that one trait. Towards the end of his career, when he lost a step he turned into an inside rusher, and last season you saw him attacking centers standing right in the A-gap.
Dunlap had a long career out on the edge, slide inside, and continued that career as a depth rusher. This may not be the high-end outcome, but based on his current pass rush plan this is a fair NFL comparison.
Should Chicago Bears draft Lukas Van Ness?
Lukas Van Ness has a lot of traits that make him a lock for round one. He tested off the charts, and agility, speed, weight, and length are things that cannot be taught. He also has good enough tape, and he showed that he can use power against big names such as Paris Johnson or Peter Skoronski. However, the top ten may end up being rich.
He is still raw in his pass rush plan, and while the upside is there, you would rather have the combination of upside, experience, and production to check all of the boxes. You can squint and see it, but that is not how you want to describe a top-ten pick.