The Lass Word: If Looks Could Kill...

Van Ness looks the part, but can he play the role?

Green Bay’s first round draft pick. edge rusher Lukas Van Ness, is going to be popular with the ladies.  Clean cut, all American boyish face, wavy reddish blonde hair, and a chiseled body that looks like, well, like Hercules.  Which just happens to be the nickname he was labeled with in college at Iowa. 

“I got the nickname from a couple of teammates my freshman year when I came in” he told packers.com.  “One of my older teammates, Noah Shannon, mentioned that my body physique, and the way I looked, represented Hercules, and the name stuck in the building, and it has followed me since.” 

Yes, the women will pay attention for obvious reasons.  But the physical appearance of the Barrington, Illinois native caught the attention of Packers’ defensive coordinator Joe Barry the first time he walked out on to the field.  Asked about Van Ness last week, Barry’s eyes got wide and he flashed a look that resembled pure awe. 

“Have you seen him in person?” Barry gushed, holding his arms out in the kind of gesture you might make if you caught a big fish.  “When he walks into a room, I mean he’s a big man”.   

Yes, he is.  6-5 and 272 pounds, to be exact.  But that’s just the beginning of why Green Bay’s defensive boss lights up when talking about his new weapon. 

“And he’s young” Barry continued.  “He’s got length.  He’s got explosion.  And then you look at the fact that he’s 21 years old.  It’s scary when you get a young player like that, to kind of close your eyes and think about what those guys will be three, four years down the road.” 

But as the Packers begin OTA’s today, the coaches are fully aware that they can’t wait three or four years to see their top draft pick blossom.  With Rashan Gary destined to miss a significant chunk of the coming season, they need the rookie to come on quickly, to contribute right away.  Barry thinks it can happen.  “We expect, and we think he has the ability to do something in the immediate future.  I think he’ll be able to have some versatility, athletic enough that we’ll be able to stand him up and play him on the edge, but also big and physical enough that we’ll be able to move him up and down across the line.” 

Put on the video.  There’s Van Ness, lined up in the middle of the line against Rutgers, pushing a guard five yards backwards, then shedding him like a horse brushing off a fly, and bear hugging the quarterback for a sack.  Against Ohio State, lined up on the edge, the red shirt sophomore actually falls down at the snap, but is fast enough to get on his feet and chase down CJ Stroud who is trying to roll out of the pocket, and take him down.  Against Wisconsin, lined up opposite guard Trey Wedig, Van Ness jukes an outside move and then flashes inside leaving Wedig grasping air, as he sacks Graham Mertz. 

Power, speed, size, quickness.  It’s all there on tape.  The Big Ten is not the NFL, but you can’t help but get excited about the potential. It’s easy to see why Brian Gutekunst passed up the top rated safety, the top rated receiver, the top rated tight end, even higher rated edge rushers, to select the versatile athlete. 

It’s hard for me to resist comparing Van Ness to another pass rushing first round pick from 2009.  Clay Matthews arrived in Titletown at 6-2, 245 pounds, having run the forty at the combine in 4.58 seconds.  The Southern Cal star would go on to be a six time Pro Bowler, and the Packers’ all time leader in quarterback sacks with 82.5. 

Now consider Van Ness ran an identical 4.58 forty at the combine, but is three inches taller and packs thirty more pounds on his solid frame.  That combination of size and speed gets coaches revved up.  In terms of physical stats, the better comparison is the aforementioned Rashan Gary.  Amazingly, Gary’s forty time at the combine was also 4.58.  Gary likewise stands 6-5 and weighs a nearly identical 277 pounds.  Gary was emerging as one of the NFL’s premier pass rushers before a torn ACL ended his season in week nine last year. 

It is, of course, premature, and perhaps unfair, to predict Van Ness will become another Clay Matthews, or another Rashan Gary.  He doesn’t even seem to get much attention from Green Bay media and fans, who prefer to focus on the two tight ends and the receivers selected in last month’s draft.  All of which is okay with him.  He seems appropriately humble.  Veteran Preston Smith graciously offered Van Ness the number 91 jersey, the number he wore at Iowa.  This is especially gallant of Smith because the drafting of the rookie likely means the coming season is Preston’s finale in the green and gold. Van Ness, showing the proper respect to an established veteran, politely declined, saying he is fine wearing number 90. 

The former hockey player is content to sit under the radar, to the extent a first round pick can do so, and learn his craft.  “For me, I just want to come in and learn as much as possible, learn the system, and what it means to be a professional.  I’m just really excited to get into this phase of my life.  I just want to come in every day and walk away and sit down and think that I learned something.” 

What the Packers hope to learn, beginning today, is whether this young man, who so much looks the part of a future star, can play like one.  

 

 

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__________________________

Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

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NFL Categories: 
14 points
 

Comments (133)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
ricky's picture

May 22, 2023 at 06:11 am

It is time to be excited. All the rookies look good. The coaches are in awe. And we fans wait, and hope that the planets align, the football gods are benevolent, and the team exceeds expectations.

17 points
17
0
BirdDogUni's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:08 am

"You may be wrong but you may be right
You may be wrong but you may be right
You may be wrong but you may be right
You may be wrong but you may be right
You may be wrong but you may be right
You may be wrong but you may be right
You may be wrong but you may be right
You may be wrong but you may be right."

0 points
1
1
Bitternotsour's picture

May 22, 2023 at 12:46 pm

I find it hilarious that a man is deciding that a player will be attractive to women, those Hercules movies in the sixties were big time gay kitsch.

Hey Ken, it's ok if you like beefcake, you don't have to beard it off on the females.

0 points
1
1
dblbogey's picture

May 22, 2023 at 03:17 pm

Most women will find him attractive. It's pretty much biology.

0 points
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tonyorth's picture

May 22, 2023 at 11:14 pm

Well said indeed.

0 points
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TKWorldWide's picture

May 23, 2023 at 10:50 am

Yes
But
Billy Joel said it first

1 points
1
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NickPerry's picture

May 22, 2023 at 06:33 am

I forget the podcast David Bakhtiari was on when he referred to Van Ness as "Ken Doll". Personally I could care less if he's pretty boy though I'd imagine he'll be popular with our female Packers fans. I care about what he does on the football field and he represents the Packers in a positive manor in ALL his affairs.

Right now, from everything I've seemed to read, Van Ness is a bit limited in his pass rush moves. He's got the Bull-Rush and well, the Bull-Rush. BUT, he's quick as hell for man his size AND he's young, really young. Even though we all want IMMEDIATE gratification, it doesn't always come that fast. How many were calling Gary a bust after year one? A LOT!

I think he'll be just fine year one. He might not toss a Trent Williams or David Bakhtiari aside, but there's plenty of OT he'll be able to take advantage of. I think they use him all over but mostly on the Edge. The main thing is IMO is patience. Hey, if the dude balls out like Matthews in year one all the better. If not, I don't think it will take "Ken" too long to figure it out.

I'd kind of like to hear he whooped Bakhtiari one on one drills... Now that would be awesome!

20 points
21
1
greengold's picture

May 22, 2023 at 07:14 am

Nick! Wait for it…

LOL.

5 points
5
0
LambeauPlain's picture

May 22, 2023 at 07:22 am

Yeah, Nick. I expect Van Ness will take some time, similar to Gary. Gary didn't show up much as a rookie, but his second year...splash plays. Third year...dominating his foes. Lets hope the same for the rookie.

I don't see Van Ness playing on the DL much. He didn't do much there during his two years at IA.

But at Edge, Rebrovich has a load of talent to work with. Going to need some patience, though. He has that bull rush but not much more. NFL lineman quickly neutralize that. Needs some schooling....but he seems to be very smart and a good student.

11 points
11
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Coldworld's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:53 am

Gary did have to learn a new role to be fair. He was asked to do things he hadn’t been doing in college. Van Ness should have a slightly gentler adaptation despite the potential need to add to his repertoire of moves.

2 points
2
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GregC's picture

May 22, 2023 at 07:22 am

Bahktiari seems to fancy himself as a comedian these days. Unfortunately his own team is the butt of all his jokes.

6 points
10
4
Crystalblue1's picture

May 22, 2023 at 11:56 pm

Agree and it’s fucking stupid up to this point.Sude got married and 12 left and he turned into a total douche bag I hope this kid puts him on skates

-1 points
1
2
DoubleJ's picture

May 22, 2023 at 08:12 am

"He's got the Bull-Rush and well, the Bull-Rush."

Considering Van Ness' pass rush win rate was over 18% (McDonald and Murphy both more seasoned rushers only had win rates no higher than 15%) with only having like 1/2 the bull rush (he wasn't always able to disengage), it is even more fun to think of what he can do with some more coaching. I hope that Jerry Montgomery is able to bring out all the talent that Van Ness has.

9 points
10
1
dobber's picture

May 22, 2023 at 08:39 am

Every draft pick is a projection, and I think Van Ness' floor is higher than a lot of other young pass-rushers due to his length, quickness, and motor. One thing I'll point out is that Van Ness' 2022 sacks came against SDSU (0.5), Nevada (1.5), Rutgers (1.0), Northwestern (1.0), Purdue (1.0), Wisconsin (0.5), and Kentucky (0.5). Not a daunting group of opponents. It stands to reason that better teams (OSU, Mich, etc.) tend to have better OL and are better equipped to neutralize guys like Van Ness, though.

6 points
6
0
Crystalblue1's picture

May 23, 2023 at 12:01 am

Northwestern had a first round pick and projected best LT in the draft that LVN manhandled numerous times,Wisconsin always has Pro Olinemen and when he played OSU he had many pressures and put another first rounder on skates a few times.So he did his thing sack numbers don’t tell the whole story

0 points
1
1
Turophile's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:09 am

I always prefer to see bull rush over speed when a player is drafted. Lighter speed rush players have a limited repertoire of beat the tackle to the corner, a dart back inside and maybe a spin move. They are unlikely ever to shine power rushing. KGB was a very good speed guy, but I prefer power as a base starting ability.

Power guys can have a swim, rip, pull/push, inside counter, hump, spin and an occasional running the arc, plus bull-rushing the tackle back into the QB. They also hold up better against run plays going straight at them. Van Ness doesn't have all that yet, but give him two years................

5 points
6
1
greengold's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:25 am

Stellar points, Turophile!

First thought reading it was, "and you can't teach speed!" We got BOTH, POWER + SPEED.

The power player at EDGE can learn techniques he can use in conjunction with speed around the edge. Not the case for some of the lightweights, like McDonald, etc.

Secondly, adding RUN STOP was vital. We also got the best edge in his draft class for that. Remarkable the bonanza Gutekunst hit on having LVN drop into his lap.

We'll see, for reals!!!

2 points
3
1
bjkdad44's picture

May 22, 2023 at 08:11 pm

Hope you’re right!

0 points
0
0
Vachio's picture

May 22, 2023 at 08:46 am

A lot of fans are just plain stupid. So many were calling for Davante to be cut because he was an obvious bust...Antonio Freeman as well way back when. Guess if the rookie doesn't re-write all the NFL records immediately upon entering the league, they suck.

5 points
8
3
dblbogey's picture

May 22, 2023 at 03:22 pm

Many wrote off Rashan Gary as a bust before he had even played. Probably the same guys that thought Ty Summers was going to be awesome after seeing his first preseason game.

0 points
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0
PatB's picture

May 22, 2023 at 04:24 pm

My recollection is that among Packers fans, only a few really wrote Gary off, and those tended to be people who are negative about everything.
I remember a lot of Packers fans saying he wasn't specifically who they wanted, but after watching video they understood the appeal and were rooting for him to succeed.

1 points
1
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Crystalblue1's picture

May 23, 2023 at 12:05 am

Are u kidding me.EVERYONE CALLED GARY THE WRONG PICK🤦🏽Only a few who are always negative.Man not sure what u were reading but it was a bonanza of he was nothing in Michigan.Gary talks about it all the time on all the crappy comments

-3 points
0
3
The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:24 am

Here's the thing: most edge rushers cant just bullrush people. A variety of moves can be taught, but the raw strength and desire required to successfully bullrush a 315+ pound bohemoth just cannot be taught. You either have it or you dont. He'll learn the rest as he goes. His upside is Rashan Gary, possibly even better.

5 points
5
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Coldworld's picture

May 22, 2023 at 11:08 am

One word, leverage. Strength is critical but leverage is more so. Corey Linsley is a classic example of using leverage to defeat a bull rush consistently. Van Ness will have to guard against getting too upright or stood up with his height.

5 points
5
0
TKWorldWide's picture

May 23, 2023 at 07:31 pm

Pad level, baby!

1 points
1
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

May 23, 2023 at 09:46 am

Luke Ness Monster can be great, I just hope all this talk about versatility across both lines doesn't cost us development and excellence at one position.

1 points
1
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PeteK's picture

May 22, 2023 at 06:50 am

I like his versatility to play the EDGE (LOL) and inside at DE. He might have the same 40 time as Matthews, but Clay's 5 yard burst is what made him special.

12 points
13
1
LambeauPlain's picture

May 22, 2023 at 07:30 am

Agree. CMIII stacked plays immediately because of his short area quickness and multiple moves off the snap. And he could bend around the blocker on his way to the QB. Clay could also play effective pass pro. There were skills Matthews had as a rookie that kept him on the field.

4 points
4
0
TKWorldWide's picture

May 22, 2023 at 07:47 am

Do you mean pass coverage?
I understand the value of versatility, but I also think asking these stud edge rushers to cover is like asking Reggie Jackson (yes, I’m old) to bunt.

9 points
9
0
dobber's picture

May 22, 2023 at 08:44 am

Opposing offenses are always looking for ways to make defenses do things they don't want to do. Part of what makes P. Smith valuable is that he's better equipped to play in space than other guys of his stature. Even Gary sometimes ends up dropping back.

I'm not saying that the Packers want Smith or Gary trying to cover WRs or TEs on a regular basis, but opposing teams go out of their way to force mismatches where guys like P are in coverage.

3 points
3
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TKWorldWide's picture

May 22, 2023 at 09:07 am

For sure!

2 points
2
0
greengold's picture

May 22, 2023 at 08:46 am

BJ Raji enters the chat.

LOL. Oh, man, what a magical pick six that was...!

Sometimes with this stuff, I do believe we're putting an early bug into opposing OC's ears. Something more to prepare for. Nonetheless, LVN hit that OLB room early, not even knowing what it was upon entering GB. Who knows what they're gonna do with him..?

They'll coach him up quickly, and have to have thought he'd take well to coaching from his interviews. Can't wait to see Lukas Van Ness develop in GB, and he should fit into the pass rush mix straight away.

4 points
4
0
Minniman's picture

May 22, 2023 at 03:23 pm

I'd have loved to still have LB coach Mike Smith around to teach LVN as a rookie - I really think that he laid the groundwork for Rashan Gary's ascendence........ he instilled a great edge setting ethic, and IIRC, one of the slights on Gary too was that coming out of college he only had a bull-rush.

Preston Smith is a class act. I've said it before, whilst ever that guy has a good standard of play (i.e., still legitimately wants to play), he should remain a Packer.

1 points
1
0
Since'61's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:42 am

You're not that old TK. I remember watching Mickey Mantle bunting and beating out the bunt. Reggie couldn't bunt to save his life. Thanks, Since '61

3 points
3
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The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:47 am

Mathews also had a tendency to run himself out of plays vs the run and pass. I dont think that will be a problem with Van Ness.

1 points
2
1
T7Steve's picture

May 22, 2023 at 11:32 am

Mathews was the opposing teams main target whenever he was in coverage. When he started playing inside he got exposed a bunch. He always got beat in the flats.

-1 points
1
2
DoubleJ's picture

May 22, 2023 at 08:17 am

Officially Van Ness' 10 yard split is 0.04 seconds faster than Matthews'. Clay did have more bend to his game with his speed rush, but the speed rush was most of his game as well. You often times didn't see Matthews trying to covert speed to power because his 240lbs wasn't going to be as effective against 300lbs OTs. Also Matthews was never more than an average run defender and always good for giving up contain on running plays as he shot off on the snap. Hopefully Van Ness can be a plus run defender.

9 points
10
1
greengold's picture

May 22, 2023 at 09:05 am

DoubleJ, Good call. Van Ness was the TOP RUN STOP in the EDGE class.

Lukas had double the sacks & TFL and nearly double the QB Pressures that Rashan Gary had entering the draft - along with 3 times the run stuffs.

I love that Gutekunst made RUN STOP a major priority with every single addition (FA, Draft, UDFA) this offseason. The Packers have been absolutely horrific in stopping opponents' running games for many years. It is time for that to end.

1 points
2
1
The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:26 am

Hes also like 30 pounds heavier than Mathews was coming into the league. The fact that his numbers are even comparable, let alone identicle to Mathews, speaks to how special of an athlete he really is.

6 points
6
0
greengold's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:51 am

And, the kid is not done growing!!! 21 years old, 6-5 276.

Bananas.

Yes, #13 is a high draft slot to be picking from, but, I'm still amazed he was there for the Packers to take him. I didn't think it possible with that many EDGE needy teams ahead of us.

***I LOVE THIS TOO: LVN was such a great EDGE player that Bill Belichick traded out of the #14 pick.

2 points
2
0
DoubleJ's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:59 am

"Yes, #13 is a high draft slot to be picking from, but, I'm still amazed he was there for the Packers to take him. I didn't think it possible with that many EDGE needy teams ahead of us."

I was a little surprised that LVN was still here at #13, however, I think some teams looked at how deep the EDGE class was and decided to go OT with how thin that class was.

3 points
3
0
greengold's picture

May 22, 2023 at 11:07 am

Yeah, there were pass rushers, and it was a good class there. My thing was getting that level of size, speed, power plus the production numbers vs. pass & run.

I thought he was THE most complete EDGE in the entire class, with a TON more room to grow.

0 points
1
1
Coldworld's picture

May 22, 2023 at 11:00 am

At least at the combine, their 10 yard splits were the same (Van Ness was 1/100 if a second faster). That suggests Van Ness has a very similar burst over 5 yards, particularly given that Van Ness is longer legged, he may in fact be a faster twitch athlete.

The difference between Matthews and Gary/Van Ness is size and short area agility. Mathews had a better 3 cone, and change of direction. Ironically, despite that, he had a tendency to overshoot, so the actual difference is somewhat less probably.

4 points
4
0
GregC's picture

May 22, 2023 at 07:01 am

I'm thinking he could be a force as a rookie--more like Matthews than Gary in that respect. The knock on Gary as a college player was lack of production, so it was hard to see him being productive as a rookie--and he wasn't. But Van Ness showed more flash than Gary as a college player. He seemed to be better at finishing plays. I think he will mostly be an edge player, so he can use his speed.

8 points
8
0
TKWorldWide's picture

May 22, 2023 at 07:49 am

And! I don’t think Clay had much in the way of other teammates presenting a threat. Lukas will have Preston right away and Rashan hopefully soon. (As well as anybody else who wants to join the fracas.)

8 points
8
0
DoubleJ's picture

May 22, 2023 at 08:19 am

Don't forget that Gary was also moved from being primarily interior DL in college to standup rusher in the NFL. That is a big change for a player. Also in college Gary was often times the major focus of opposing OL so it was hard for him to have an impact when he was double or triple teamed virtually every play.

11 points
11
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dobber's picture

May 22, 2023 at 08:21 am

I think they'll move Van Ness around the same way they move Gary around, trying to generate mismatches on the interior and asking opposing OL to adjust to where the rush is coming from. I think he's a flexible enough piece that they can do that, even early on.

Enagbare might slot ahead of him early on--especially on run downs--but Van Ness should overtake him quickly and should be at least as productive out of the gate. Gary makes this a really good unit...but there's potential there even without him.

Jason Taylor. That's what I'm thinking when I watch Van Ness. Yes, Taylor was much lighter, but there are definite similarities.

5 points
6
1
Handsback's picture

May 22, 2023 at 07:04 am

Gary to me is a player you see once every 5 years. LVN on the surface appears to be a Gary clone. Just imagine both those guys coming after the QB in a couple of years. It could be like the Smith brothers on steroids. But now isn’t two years in the future. LVN has to broaden his pass rush moves and learn the position. Then we can throw around the Hercules talk.
Just MHO

10 points
10
0
greengold's picture

May 22, 2023 at 07:22 am

Ken, I’m glad you went straight to the Clay Matthews comparison, because I went straight to the TJ Watt comparison.

Both players had nearly identical production numbers, LVN slightly ahead in TFL & sacks, but also in 4 more games played.

Not their combine numbers though. LVN the larger of the two, and much faster of the two.

TJ with the better 3-cone, vertical & broad.
LVN with the better 40, 20 & 10 yd splits and 20 yd shuttle.

My first thought when Gutekunst took Van Ness: “Good!”

My second thought: “I bet Gutekunst thought, ‘I’m not making that same mistake twice.’”

My third thought, “Glad he didn’t take a corner.”

8 points
8
0
LambeauPlain's picture

May 22, 2023 at 07:58 am

TJ not a Packer is almost as "happy" a memory NFCCG OT loss in Seattle.

I see a lot of similarities between Gary and Van Ness too. Measurables about the same. Gary stronger (29 bench vs 19 for LVN). Both were decorated B1G players on excellent defenses.

Gary played mostly as a 4-3 DE at MI, but did stand up some. After his rookie year with Coach Smith, standing up in the 3-4, he took off.

Van Ness was the reverse. Mostly standing up in a 3-4. He needs to add to his tool kit of pass rush moves, and after his rookie year, hopefully the same liftoff!

6 points
6
0
greengold's picture

May 22, 2023 at 09:13 am

Yeah, LambeauPlain! The pain is real.

Lukas Van Ness's longer arms didn't help his bench. I always take that into account, because that extra length can really change bench press numbers into an unfair fight.

2 points
2
0
The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:29 am

The bench press numbers dont really matter cuz he has all the lower body strength a player could ever need. Everything starts from the ground up. Weak players dont bullrush 315 pound guys to the ground consistently.

2 points
2
0
DoubleJ's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:34 am

Getting stronger in the upper body could help LVN with things like a hump move.

3 points
3
0
The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:58 am

Well yeah you want him to be as strong as possible. My only point was this his low bench press numbers do not accurately represent how strong he actually is. Hes already a physical and violent player despite the lack of bench reps. Thats due to his lower body strength. Personally, I think bench press is a useless lift. More and more players are missing seasons due to torn pectorals from heavy bench press. Imo, they should be more focused on close grip bench to work the triceps and shoulders, which is where that punch really comes from. If a lineman (on either side of the ball) has his arms wide enough to where hes even using his pecs, hes already lost the rep anyways. If they're out there trying to bench press people, their hand technique sucks and they shouldnt even be on the field.

4 points
4
0
LambeauPlain's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:33 am

Gary's arms are 1/8th of an inch LONGER than Van Ness. I point that out because at 34" to put up 29 on the bench is extraordinary.

3 points
3
0
Coldworld's picture

May 22, 2023 at 11:11 am

Gary is ridiculously strong.

3 points
3
0
DoubleJ's picture

May 22, 2023 at 08:21 am

"My second thought: “I bet Gutekunst thought, ‘I’m not making that same mistake twice.’”"

It was Ted that passed on Watt for King not Gute. In fact I have read that Watt was never even on Ted's board.

6 points
7
1
TKWorldWide's picture

May 22, 2023 at 09:09 am

Ouch.

3 points
3
0
greengold's picture

May 22, 2023 at 09:19 am

DoubleJ,

It's a great point, but, I'm going out on a limb saying Gutekunst made that pick for Ted. He was all-in on Kevin King, and I don't believe Ted was able to function clearly to make the calls at that stage of his illness. 2017 was Ted's last draft before Gutekunst took over as GM. The signs were there for all to see at that point.

I think Gutekunst passed on TJ Watt. 100%. He was enamored with the idea Kevin King would be the next Richard Sherman.

I've always felt this way, that Gutekunst was running that 2017 draft for Ted. Sad ending to a really great man & career.

3 points
4
1
Coldworld's picture

May 22, 2023 at 11:22 am

The rumor at the time was that that the personnel team were strongly considering Watt but there were concerns about him being a one year player and that tipped them to take a CB, which Ball saw as their biggest need.

1 points
1
0
jannes bjornson's picture

May 22, 2023 at 12:50 pm

Correct, GG, it was a cluster fuk with the syndicate of Gutedkunst, Wolf,Jr and Low-Ball making the player acquisition decisions. An absolute whiff when you consider King's injury history at U of Wash. Indeed , Gutey's guy as he he resigned the stiff. The whole inbred triad of leadership should have been fired, post-season, especially when considering they doubled down and selected Josh Jones, another guy Gutey pushed as a S.E. Regional scout. Read 'em and weep.

1 points
2
1
The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:30 am

Ted was already a walking zombie at that point. From what Ive read, King was a Russ Ball pick.

1 points
3
2
T7Steve's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:57 am

I'm probably going to be slayed for this, but King did have some good points and I hope he successfully overcomes his injuries and can get back on a team.

He was injured and put on an island in the 2020 NFCCG.

2 points
4
2
The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

May 22, 2023 at 11:13 am

I agree with you Steve. He wasnt a terrible player. He just became the low hanging fruit for angry fans to lash out on. I was there to witness his first NFL game (2017 vs Seahawks) and he was all over the field. Looked absolutely awesome. I even met his mother. But then the injuries started taking hold and he was never quite the same.

4 points
5
1
Coldworld's picture

May 22, 2023 at 11:28 am

Injury impact aside, another player who needed to be used in tight coverage and too often wasn’t. We too often do not learn. Tall corners are typically not dancers suited to play off, man or zone.

5 points
6
1
The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

May 22, 2023 at 01:06 pm

Bingo, CW.

1 points
1
0
Coldworld's picture

May 22, 2023 at 11:24 am

Sorry TBSH, read your comment after posting that it was Ball’s call above.

1 points
1
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The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

May 22, 2023 at 01:06 pm

No worries at all.

0 points
0
0
Crystalblue1's picture

May 22, 2023 at 11:54 pm

This is exactly who my comparison WAS DOR HIM AS WELL.THIS WILL BE GOOD

0 points
1
1
Guam's picture

May 22, 2023 at 07:38 am

I like the LVN pick, but I also believe his career trajectory will be much like Gary's - slow developing and eventually terrific. LVN needs to diversify his pass rush moves as NFL tackles are tough on one trick ponies. He certainly has the physical skills and youth to learn other moves, but it may take some time.

I think the Packers will be fine at OLB with Smith, Enagbare and Hollins starting the year interspersed with Gary and LVN sightings as the season progresses. Give the kid some time - I think he is Smith's eventual replacement and will be a very good one, just not this year.

5 points
5
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LambeauPlain's picture

May 22, 2023 at 08:13 am

That is what I think too, Guam.

Has the smarts to absorb NFL coaching and the work ethic add to his pass rush skills. He's a project but I think a short term project like Gary was.

I am looking forward Packer career.

3 points
3
0
dobber's picture

May 22, 2023 at 08:32 am

The Packers didn't need to bring Gary along quickly with Z and P in place. I think Van Ness could be in line for a lot more snaps early on.

So far, it sounds like Gary will be on the early end of his recovery window, perhaps playing right away at Chicago week 1, but I think your second paragraph also fits with Packers bringing Gary along a little more slowly (PUP) and riding Van Ness and Enagbare out of the gate. Whichever the case, I think Gary will be on a pitch count for awhile, and Van Ness will get more snaps than Gary got in his rookie year.

1 points
1
0
Coldworld's picture

May 22, 2023 at 11:59 am

Gary, whenever he returns, won’t be himself for a while. Rushers, like Tackles take time after healing to recover burst and lateral agility fully.

1 points
1
0
Guam's picture

May 22, 2023 at 03:38 pm

IDK Dobber. I am not sure LVN beats out Hollins for the third OLB spot out of the gate. Hollins played some pretty solid football for the Packers in the last half of last year. I think LVN sees snaps during obvious passing downs, but I think he will split time with Hollins as the third OLB until Gary regains his form. Then both Hollins and LVN get less snaps.

0 points
0
0
The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:31 am

Its not even like Gary wasnt good early on. He was stuck behind two highly paid vets who were playing well for super bowl contending teams. Had Gary been given more playing time, there would have been more production.

2 points
2
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Guam's picture

May 22, 2023 at 03:40 pm

Just like LVN will be stuck behind Gary and Smith for at least this year and maybe longer. And if Enagbare makes a second year jump, that will be another guy for LVN to climb over for a starting role. The Packers could be deep at OLB for a couple of years.

0 points
0
0
SicSemperTyrannis's picture

May 23, 2023 at 10:01 am

We have no idea how quickly LVN can learn what. There's been 1 day of OTA.

1 points
1
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ReaganRulz's picture

May 22, 2023 at 07:46 am

If I recall when Gary played for Michigan, the defensive scheme did not play to his strengths. So his stats weren’t great which kinda freak’d a lot of people out when he got drafted. Van Ness is similar in that Iowa has that strange seniority type of scheme where the Upperclassman got priority playing time. Even though Van Ness had decent numbers when he did play. I’m hoping as a Barrington area homer that LVN will produce as Barry (yikes) anticipates and be a good addition to the Green Bay Community!!

8 points
8
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LambeauPlain's picture

May 22, 2023 at 08:19 am

I recall, after Gary was drafted, Coach Smith was asked about his lack of college production vs his top ranking as a prospect. Smith said Gary played lights out based on what MI asked him to do...protect the flank. Smith was giddy with the selection of Gary.

I think Rebovich is very excited about his new student.

5 points
5
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greengold's picture

May 22, 2023 at 09:30 am

Yeah. I'll never forget that either. Smith loved that GB picked Rashan Gary. He turned me into a convert.

1 points
1
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The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:33 am

Yup. Coach Smith talked about how sacks werent the end all be all of a players game. Affecting the qb is most important and Gary did that regularly in college. Has continued doing that in the NFL.

2 points
2
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TKWorldWide's picture

May 22, 2023 at 07:51 am

He’s got the physical traits.
He’s coachable.
He’s a worker.
GB doesn’t need him to be a one-man show.
It’s just a matter of time.

12 points
12
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TKWorldWide's picture

May 22, 2023 at 09:30 am

“Never heard of it” LOL

3 points
3
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greengold's picture

May 22, 2023 at 11:24 am

Hot damn, Leotis!!!! That was great.

"Madison City, Missouri, Sir..."

Donald Sutherland knocked that one outta here.

2 points
2
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dobber's picture

May 22, 2023 at 08:46 am

Coachability and motor seem to be an underlying theme of this and last year's drafts.

4 points
4
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The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:34 am

He also has the necessary mean streak. When he played hockey in high school, he led the league in penalty minutes lmao.

2 points
2
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DoubleJ's picture

May 22, 2023 at 08:08 am

"It’s easy to see why Brian Gutekunst passed up...even higher rated edge rushers"

Depends on whose draft board you are looking at. I had seen Van Ness rated as high as EDGE2 but typically he was EDGE3/4. With him being the 3rd EDGE player drafted, that means Gute didn't exactly pass up on "even higher rated edge players. Also consider that had Van Ness stayed in college he would easily have been EDGE1 in the 2024 draft and a top 5 pick.

5 points
6
1
dobber's picture

May 22, 2023 at 08:54 am

"Depends on whose draft board you are looking at."

Agreed. It all depends on what your scheme and roles dictate for those players. This is why draftniks and their "one size fits all boards" aren't worth that much. As an example: I didn't think Nolan Smith would ever land in GB--unless he really fell--simply because he doesn't fit their "preferences". The Packers like length and "bulk" on the outside. I wouldn't be surprised if Van Ness drops a little weight from his Combine numbers to play the edge.

3 points
3
0
DoubleJ's picture

May 22, 2023 at 09:30 am

" I wouldn't be surprised if Van Ness drops a little weight from his Combine numbers to play the edge."

I actually don't think he will drop weight. He played at 270ish in college and his frame looks like he could actually play closer to 280 without losing speed or explosion.

0 points
1
1
The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:35 am

Gary came into the league at 278 pounds. Hes pmayed around 255 pounds the last 2 years and looked explosive as hell. I would be surprised if they dont take this approach with Van Ness.

2 points
2
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DoubleJ's picture

May 22, 2023 at 11:03 am

"Gary came into the league at 278 pounds. Hes pmayed around 255 pounds the last 2 years and looked explosive as hell."

Do you have actual evidence to that playing weight as he is officially listed at 277lbs.

0 points
1
1
Coldworld's picture

May 22, 2023 at 11:47 am

They are always listed at the weight when they came into the league. The only time we know what they are playing at after that is if the team tells us it they do. For example, we know Caleb Jones was playing at in the 330s because of a coach, but he’s still listed at 377 as he was when testing. Toure is listed at 190, but a coach just told us he’s now added 8 pounds of muscle.

All I know about Gary is that, per the team, he reportedly had 10 percent body fat at 277 when he reported to camp in 2019. He’s known to be a workout warrior. If true, not sure 255 is viable or desirable.

2 points
2
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The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

May 22, 2023 at 01:11 pm

Standby. I remember reading an article about a year ago where Gary said it himself. He talked about how he put more emphasis on endurance, flexibility and explosion, while putting less emphasis on power lifting. If you look at his college film then watch his 2021 film, you'll see a noticable difference. If I can find the article I'll post it.

1 points
1
0
greengold's picture

May 22, 2023 at 09:36 am

I'm so glad you said that, DoubleJ, because I think he was the top rated edge rusher at #13, along with being the top rated run stop in his entire edge class. That's what did it for me, plus his higher ceiling. The kid barely played, has all the physical gifts to be great, and just requires a couple years working on technique.

They'll throw him straight into the fire for some fast tracking of his development timetable. I have zero doubts on that.

3 points
3
0
The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:37 am

I love Van Ness as much as anyone, but he was not rated higher than Will Anderson.

2 points
2
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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

May 23, 2023 at 10:07 am

Run stop!

"What the hell's going on out there? Everybody's hitting, nobody's tackling."

We need some great coaching, developing these guys. I bet LVN could add a solid 20# and not slow down a bit, the kid isn't done growing. It's nice to not have the pressure of expectations of a SB, that should help with development.

0 points
0
0
mrtundra's picture

May 22, 2023 at 08:14 am

I just hope Barry doesn't put him in blitz packages that start 15 yards off the LOS.

6 points
6
0
DoubleJ's picture

May 22, 2023 at 08:24 am

Or ask him to do zone coverage on WRs.

3 points
3
0
The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:37 am

Ugh dont give him any ideas

3 points
3
0
SicSemperTyrannis's picture

May 23, 2023 at 10:08 am

I'm really worried about JB being given a 3rd year for the first time in his career. Hopefully Rich Bisaccia keeps him from screwing everything up.

0 points
0
0
dobber's picture

May 22, 2023 at 01:15 pm

Only if they make race car noises before the snap.

2 points
2
0
The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

May 22, 2023 at 01:39 pm

Does Joe Barry sleep in a car bed? Does he have a radio so he can talk to other car beds?

2 points
2
0
croatpackfan's picture

May 22, 2023 at 08:18 am

As I see, author and, free to say, posters are on the same page regarding Lucas Van Ness and expectations what Packers can expect from him in his rookie season. I'm aligned with those thinking.

What I see is that Packers have at least 2 of rookie edge players for whome I expect to see occasionaly playing specificaly on obvious pass downs. Do not forget Brooks, who also use bull rush, but have more advanced arms technique than Lucas Van Ness. If Cox will be able to earn the spot on the 53 roster, he could be 3rd rookie edge with interesting traits. I believe if 30 % of those young rushers show that they can win at the DL/EDGE very often, I believe Packers solve the position for years to come. At this moment 1 of 3 would be pure lottery win premium reward for Packers. And I hope that will happen.

5 points
5
0
PatrickGB's picture

May 22, 2023 at 08:30 am

Sean Rhyan looked the part too. But I am ok with the pick. We certainly needed another edge rusher and he does have potential. But until we see him play, I am reluctant to compare him to Matthews or Gary.

0 points
2
2
hhsbaseball's picture

May 22, 2023 at 03:00 pm

LVN should do a little better than Rhyan did in their respective rookie years I would hope.

1 points
1
0
CentralPA_PackFan's picture

May 22, 2023 at 08:35 am

"Clay Matthews arrived in Titletown at 6-2, 245 pounds, having run the forty at the combine in 4.58 seconds."

What really made CM3 speed-wise was his phenomenal burst off the ball. His 1.49 second 10 yard split time was top of the line for cornerbacks and totally ridiculous for edge rushers. Gary and Van Ness's 10 yard splits were 1.63 and 1.64 respectively - definitely solid for edge rushers, but not in the same time zone as CM3. On the other hand, Gary and Van Ness's size/speed combination is exceptional, and probably better for overall edge play (run and pass) than CM3. Time will tell.

1 points
1
0
DoubleJ's picture

May 22, 2023 at 08:58 am

"What really made CM3 speed-wise was his phenomenal burst off the ball. His 1.49 second 10 yard split time"

I think this has since been updated in the RAS DB (used new tech to review timings for official times instead of the hand times) as it has Matthews' with a 1.61 and 4.67 instead.

"Gary and Van Ness's 10 yard splits were 1.63 and 1.64 respectively"

Actual 10 yard splits are 1.61 and 1.57 respectively.

4 points
4
0
The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:39 am

Well yeah Gary came into the league at 278 pounds and Van Ness weighed 272 at the combine. The fact that their numbers were even comparable to a 245 pound Mathews is ridiculous.

3 points
3
0
Since'61's picture

May 22, 2023 at 08:43 am

As I've posted since the 2023 draft this team is pointing to 2024 and beyond.

Van Ness is one of the reasons why I have been thinking along those lines. He will be brought along slowly by the Packers at least for 2023. It could be possible that depending on Gary's recovery timeline he sees more action in 2023 than Gary did in his rookie season. But if not I see Van Ness playing about 25-30% of the Packers defensive snaps in 2023.

I see 2023 as a learning and developing season for:
Van Ness
Musgrave
Wooden
Wicks
Brooks
Valentine
and possibly Johnson.

I expect Reed, Kraft, Nichols and possibly Johnson to make their presence felt during 2023. We need to see how the Safety position plays out during TC before we can know if Johnson will be a starting or rotational player in 2023. I can see Owens and Savage starting the season or maybe Owens and Ford. However, as the season progresses Johnson may work his way into a starting role. Too soon to know.

Either way all of these players will be learning and will have their ups and downs during 2023. IMO opinion this includes Jordan Love as well.
2024 will be the season that I expect these players to come together with confidence and a season of experience to begin to show their true potential to the league. By 2025 the Packers should be ready to return to serious connection for a deep playoff run.

Obviously injuries and about a thousand other factors could derail this any or all of this but that's where I believe we're at as of now. Thanks, Since '61

2 points
2
0
DoubleJ's picture

May 22, 2023 at 08:59 am

I agree this season could be like 2008 and then the growth in 09 into 2010 in the next two seasons. Lots of young players with high upside and beginning in 2025 a lot of cap space.

4 points
4
0
T7Steve's picture

May 22, 2023 at 09:48 am

I think it will be a learning year where we can compete in this division (if not dominate). We have a lot of youngsters, but we have an experienced line and backfield. The line, being the most important part of the offense, is what will make it click.

That's assuming (Am I crazy?) the D and STs do their part.

2 points
2
0
BirdDogUni's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:06 am

"You may be right
I may be crazy
Oh, but it just may be a lunatic you're looking for
Turn out the light
Don't try to save me
You may be wrong for all I know
But you may be right."

3 points
3
0
T7Steve's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:41 am

You do a good Billy (was going to say BJ till I thought about it).

0 points
0
0
Bitternotsour's picture

May 22, 2023 at 12:50 pm

Johnny Lyden approves this observation

1 points
1
0
dobber's picture

May 22, 2023 at 09:02 am

I think Van Ness and Musgrave will play a lot more than people anticipate. I mention Van Ness above, but Musgrave is in a prime spot to mop up a lot of Tonyan's (54%) and Lazard's (79%) snaps. I agree that there will be competition for those--maybe from Reed and Deguara, primarily--but if they scheme to the things that Musgrave does well out of the gate, I think he could play a lot. The Packers haven't shied away from playing skill position rookies under LaF.

It certainly looks as if Kraft will get a lot of the Y-TE snaps, but my hope is that we'll see a re-engineering of the offense with the new personnel that only sort-of looks like what we saw the last couple years. Different players with different skill sets require a careful shift in what you do--hopefully LaF and Stenavich are up to that challenge.

8 points
8
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Since'61's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:54 am

Dobber, I think the most critical part of your comment is about MLF and Stenavich being up to the challenge.

Due to the number of young players on the team the Packers have numerous question marks going into the 2023 season. However, for me, the biggest question is not about the players but about the coaches. Can the coaching staff get the young players prepared to play and to play with a sense of urgency. that has been missing from the Packers for a long time.

Another factor is with Rodgers gone they won't be depending on one guy to do it all. The Packers were too heavily dependent on Rodgers since the 2016 "run the table" run that ended in the NFCCG defeat in Atlanta.
I think the coaches and players had a mind set that Rodgers would get them through each week.

That mindset should be and needs to be gone now. It's up to the coaches to create a sense of urgency and get this team to play more physically, especially at the LOS and to improve the tackling on the defense. The Packers need an injection of nasty attitude on both sides of the ball. Thanks, Since '61

3 points
3
0
Coldworld's picture

May 22, 2023 at 11:54 am

We can get rookies contributing significantly if we are willing to let them be used to their strengths first, not expect them to master everything straight away. That’s not been the Packer way. To his credit, Stenovich seems to suggest that it is in their minds now. Let’s hope so. That likely means more personnel changes, initially limited roles (for example Van Nesd may not move around much, Musgrave may play WR in effect) and gradually supplement packages and asks. I hope LaFlelur has seen the light on this.

5 points
5
0
T7Steve's picture

May 22, 2023 at 01:23 pm

Did you say nasty, Since '61?

Mean and nasty at the LOS makes up for allot of shortcomings on both sides of the ball.

I guess it's not politically correct, but you'd think those guys wouldn't like getting pushed on their asses either?

2 points
2
0
jannes bjornson's picture

May 22, 2023 at 01:10 pm

The Wheel moves Forward. Both of these TEs can go in the slots, or Y-stacks. Four TE sets would work with this group. Put the pressure on the defense to cover a myriad of looks. LaFleur has no excuses, Love is in year four, let it rip.

3 points
3
0
The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:21 am

You could say the same thing about most of their drafts. They rarely draft for right now. Even when they're filling a position of need, its not for that season. So its not like this draft is any different. Standard operating procedure.

3 points
3
0
Leatherhead's picture

May 22, 2023 at 09:08 am

If everything goes according to plan, Van Ness will be part of the rotation and he'll probably replace PSmith next year.

For everybody that decries our run defense, did we take Van Ness to help us against the run, or was it more that he could help our pass defense? Listen, if the price of slowing people down through the air is allowing a little more run yardage, that's a good trade off.

3 points
3
0
dobber's picture

May 22, 2023 at 09:31 am

"For everybody that decries our run defense, did we take Van Ness to help us against the run..."

Agreed. If you've got outside defenders who can challenge and hold the edge, you naturally funnel runners to where your help is (inside) and away from your weakest tacklers on the periphery (CBs). Seems like FB 101 to me.

5 points
5
0
greengold's picture

May 22, 2023 at 09:53 am

BOTH. Lukas Van Ness was the #1 EDGE in RUN STOP.

We walked into a gem with LVN being available at #13. There were 7 teams ahead of us who needed DL/EDGE.

4 points
4
0
DoubleJ's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:00 am

"For everybody that decries our run defense, did we take Van Ness to help us against the run, or was it more that he could help our pass defense?"

Considering he was a plus run defender in college I think he can help both phases.

2 points
2
0
Ferrari-Driver's picture

May 22, 2023 at 09:35 am

"But the physical appearance of the Barrington, Illinois native caught the attention of Packers’ defensive coordinator Joe Barry the first time he walked out on to the field. Asked about Van Ness last week, Barry’s eyes got wide and he flashed a look that resembled pure awe."

Barry's eyes got wide...? I think every guy on Cheesehead TV loves Van Ness and I was eleated when we got him. I thought he may be gone in the top 10 and perhaps top 6 during the draft. But I would think our defensive coordinator would have studied every detail about Lukas before he ever set foot on the practice field. He shouldn't have been surprised in the least. Now if Barry can get every ounce of talent out of that guy, we have a great chance of having a pro bowler in Green and Gold.

4 points
4
0
greengold's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:03 am

1 bazillion percent, Ferrari-Driver!

I was stunned that we got him at #13. Didn't ever, ever think we'd have that opportunity. He was my top choice.

I don't even think the Packers thought LVN would be there at #13. He didn't make an Official Pre Draft Visit (Those who did: DE Karl Brooks, WR Dontayvion Wicks, RB Lew Nichols III, QB Sean Clifford, plus UDFAs OT Kadeem Telfort, TE Camren McDonald).

They did host EDGE players Will McDonald, Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Adetomiwa Adeboware & Keion White. Those are the players I felt GB could reasonably acquire somehow, either at #13 or in a trade down.

ANOTHER Pro Bowler..!!! This is gonna be fun!!!!

3 points
3
0
DoubleJ's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:03 am

"But I would think our defensive coordinator would have studied every detail about Lukas before he ever set foot on the practice field. He shouldn't have been surprised in the least."

There is a difference between studying someone either on film or looking at their bio and seeing them in person.

3 points
3
0
The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:20 am

He's already dating Cole Kmet's sister 🤣

3 points
3
0
DoubleJ's picture

May 22, 2023 at 10:24 am

Bragging rights at family gatherings could be amazing.

3 points
3
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Alberta_Packer's picture

May 22, 2023 at 11:31 am

"Very pretty, Colonel, Very pretty, But, can they fight?" - The Dirty Dozen

3 points
3
0
stockholder's picture

May 22, 2023 at 11:35 am

Can't disagree with any of this.
Hopefully he stays committed.

3 points
3
0
splitpea1's picture

May 22, 2023 at 11:50 am

Just for the sake of impatience and nostalgia, I like the comparison to CM3 better than Gary. As long as Van Ness stays healthy, we should be able to get him out there a lot more than the 244 defensive snaps Gary received in his first season. Joe Barry gets a lot of heat, but I like his optimism this time about possibly giving Van Ness the opportunity to play all over the place if he shows he can do it.

For the record, CM3 had 10 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries, and 7 passes defended in his rookie season; and who can forget him stealing the ball from A. Peterson when he was stood up by Jenkins and Chillar and running it back? So I'm keeping my expectations in check with this particular comparison.

2 points
2
0