The New England Patriots draft explosive D-end with their first-round pick
The New England Patriots have quite an ordinary defensive line. They have young defensive tackle Christian Barmore who is full of potential yet hasn’t had much production as yet, and Dietrich Wise Jr, who’s been a solid starter at the defensive end.
After that, there’s not much there. This pick changes all that. After trading down two spots with Washington and picking up another third-round pick at 97 while surrendering pick 184, the Patriots draft a rising star athlete and explosive defensive end/tackle.
He’s a player nicknamed “Hercules”. It’s Lukas Van Ness from Iowa.
This pick goes a bit contrary to a constant harangue in this space for the Patriots to draft an offensive tackle with one of their first two picks. In this case, however, after trading the 14th pick and the 184th pick to Washington for the 16th and 97th picks, the team hits paydirt.
Van Ness at 6’5″ tall and 275 pounds has the prototypical size for a defensive end/hybrid tackle. He is explosive off the edge and can also slide inside on passing downs to provide additional headaches for offensive lines along with the aforementioned Barmore.
This space sees traces of the Watt brothers, JJ and TJ in Van Ness, and he’s sized about in the middle of those two stars. At pick No. 16, Van Ness is just too good a prospect to pass up after.
While perhaps a bit outside the most drastic areas of need, the defensive line is a need nonetheless. And with his versatility, a favorite Patriot trait, Van Ness provides all kinds of options for the Patriots’ de facto defensive coordinator, Jerod Mayo. It’s a home run pick.