5 players the Houston Texans are looking at with the 12th pick
By Peter Manfre
Lukas Van Ness, Edge Iowa
Ryans and company have spoken often about wanting to build the trenches and the importance of a good pass rush. If the Texans are looking for a young pass rusher, the Iowa Hawkeye could make a ton of sense.
A similar player to Nolan Smith, Van Ness comes as a solid edge player for the Iowa Hawkeyes throughout his career. Although he didn't start this past season, he has the ideal frame and play style that defensive coordinators will see as great projectability. He shows elite athleticism and despite not starting the last two years he managed 13.5 sacks as a sub-rusher.
Van Ness is somewhat raw in his pass-rushing ability but that's something that Ryans is going to coach out. He's a player that a handful of analysts have mocked to the Houston Texans due to the aforementioned high ceiling. His main asset as a pass rusher was his pure power, and his 6'5 272 pound frame is mainly built with lean muscle mass and a ton of room to continue to grow.
The 21-year-old defender projects as an impact starter but is not a savior for a Texans defense that needs help in the front seven. His high-intensity play, inside-out playstyle, and experience playing all across the defensive line mixed with new defensive coordinator Matt Burke's creativity could lead to a huge boost and culture change in Houston.
I wouldn't expect him to be an immediate ten-sack player for the Houston Texans in his rookie season, but given two years in the NFL with the resources and coaching at his disposal, he could end up becoming a top ten edge defender in the league.