NFL Rumors: Bears restore peace, Packers draft steal, and Derek Carr-Raiders olive branch

  • Justin Fields and the Bears coaches make up and make nice
  • Did the Packers grab a hidden gem in the 2023 draft?
  • Derek Carr wins NFL's superlative for Most Likeable (and Sensitive) QB
Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
Justin Fields, Chicago Bears / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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NFL Rumors: Packers' first-round pick Lukas Van Ness is turning into a draft steal

The Packers' No. 13 overall pick of the 2023 draft, Lukas Van Ness, has been outplaying his peers so far this year. It's a small sample size, but the team has to be pleased with how quickly Van Ness has acclimated to the NFL.

Van Ness became the first Packers rookie pass-rusher to record a sack in Week 1 in 28 years. Since the season-opening win over the Bears, the rookie has tallied four tackles, two tackles for loss, and five quarterback pressures.

At his level of production, it's no wonder the Packers are playing him often (he has 53 snaps through two weeks). Out of all the first-round edge rushers taken in April, Van Ness has the highest "pass rush productivity", a statistic generated by Pro Football Focus,

Compared to Texans' Will Anderson and Raiders' Tyree Wilson, both of whom were selected before him, Van Ness may have landed in a more optimal defense in Green Bay. He's surrounded by experience and talent in Preston Smith and Rashan Gary, among others, and has been able to hold his own on the field, flashing speed on the edge and using his athleticism to beat grizzled offensive linemen.

It's way too early to judge this year's rookie class. But if it was a competition, Van Ness would be firmly in the lead.