In the latest Mel Kiper Mock Draft on ESPN, the NFL Draft expert projected the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, along with trade. No, Kiper did not project an Aaron Rodgers trade to include a first-round pick, for this year at least. However, he did switch up which player he believes the Green Bay Packers will draft at No. 15.
A previous Mel Kiper Mock Draft projected the Packers to select Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer with their first pick. This time around, he has Mayer sliding down to No. 18 to the Detroit Lions. In a draft class that has been touted as the deepest tight end draft class of all time, it would make sense for these first-round players to slide a little bit.
So, who does the Mel Kiper Mock Draft project to the Packers at No. 15? In this Green Bay Packers mock draft, the projection is defensive lineman Lukas Van Ness out of Iowa.
Mel Kiper Projects Lukas Van Ness to Packers
Lukas Van Ness, DL, Iowa
With the 15th pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Mel Kiper Mock Draft projects the Green Bay Packers drafting defensive lineman Lukas Van Ness out of Iowa.
At 6-5, 278 lbs, Van Ness ran a 4.58-second 40-yard dash. He is a freak athlete and has plenty of experience playing both on the edge and in the B Gap. Van Ness is a disrupter, making tackles behind the line of scrimmage and getting the quarterback often. His versatility gives the Packers the ability to use him in different packages and give opposing offenses many different looks upfront, as long as we have coaches capable of scheming up these looks.
This will likely be a draft pick that Packers fans are initially frustrated by. Van Ness does need to get a bit stronger to be an every-down player. It is not the best pick to win in 2023. However, when do the Green Bay Packers draft first-round players that aren't projects? This is a good projection by Mel Kiper, despite there being betting fits on the board for Green Bay.
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