In his first 2023 NFL mock draft, Bucky Brooks of NFL Network has the Denver Broncos selecting Iowa edge defender Lukas Van Ness with the 29th overall pick in the first round.
“Pass rushers are coveted at a premium in a division featuring Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert,” Brooks wrote as his commentary for the Van Ness selection on NFL.com.
The Broncos have a late first-round pick from the San Francisco 49ers that they acquired through the Miami Dolphins in the Bradley Chubb trade last fall. Brooks’ mock draft has Denver essentially swapping Chubb out for a younger, cheaper pass rusher.
Van Ness (6-5, 275 pounds) was a 4-3 defensive end in college, but he might transition to outside linebacker if selected by an NFL team that runs a 3-4 base defense. He was a two-year starter for the Hawkeyes, totaling 13 sacks and 19 tackles for losses in 26 games.
This year’s draft will be held in Kansas City from April 27-29.
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