It's too early to draw any conclusions from this year's draft class. The Green Bay Packers drafted Lukas Van Ness for the future.
They did the same with Rashan Gary in 2019. Gary began his career as a backup behind Za'Darius and Preston Smith, with the Packers believing he could become a star with time to develop. And they were right. Gary is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL and just landed a huge new contract.
Green Bay often drafts elite athletes at premium positions in the first round. Van Ness checks those boxes.
However, still on the board was Georgia tackle Broderick Jones. He also plays at a premium position and earned a Relative Athletic Score of 9.56 out of 10 entering the draft. The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Jones one pick after Van Ness. One has to wonder whether Green Bay will end up regretting that decision.
Broderick Jones shows the Packers why they should've drafted him in Week 10
The Packers' offensive line has been a problem this season, particularly with run-blocking. Tackle is arguably the team's No. 1 need in the upcoming offseason.
Green Bay had the chance to change that back in April. Jones was the perfect fit for the Packers' offense, which is why so many mock drafts had him going to Green Bay. And he proved it against them on Sunday.
Jones made the third start of his rookie season at right tackle, and he dominated against the Packers, particularly in the run game. Jones is so powerful and is an outstanding athlete.
Jones plays right tackle for the Steelers. Had he done the same in Green Bay, Zach Tom could've started at left tackle. The Packers wouldn't have had to experiment with Rasheed Walker as David Bakhtiari's replacement.
You only have to look at the Steelers' offensive numbers with and without Jones to see the impact he has already made.
Van Ness can become a great player. This is less about him and more about how impressive Jones has been, especially considering how badly the Packers need offensive line help.
There's a reason why the Steelers traded up to get him. Once Jones made it to 14th overall, they knew they had to move ahead of the New York Jets. And Jones is proving them right for that decision.
Next offseason, the Packers will likely look for an athletic tackle who can dominate against the run and pass.
They missed a chance seven months ago.
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