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How high will they go? Van Ness, McDonald IV ready for 2023 NFL Draft

Lukas Van Ness and Will McDonald IV could both be first-rounders, while Jack Campbell and Xavier Hutchinson may have to wait until Day 2.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The 2023 NFL Draft is almost here, with this year's pool of future football stars to hear their names called in Kansas City Thursday, April 27 through Saturday, April 29.

The Carolina Panthers hold the No. 1 overall pick after trading with the Chicago Bears. The expectation is that Carolina takes a quarterback, with the debate ongoing between Alabama's Bryce Young and Ohio State's C.J. Stroud.

Below is a list of the Iowa and Iowa State football prospects and where they could land.

2023 NFL Draft Schedule

  • Thursday, April 27 (7 p.m. CT): Round 1
  • Friday, April 28 (6 p.m. CT): Rounds 2 & 3
  • Saturday, April 29 (11 a.m.): Rounds 4-7

Lukas Van Ness

  • EDGE, Iowa
  • 6'5", 272 lbs

A physical freak who played mostly interior defensive line at Iowa, Lukas Van Ness is an instant impact player.

He will shift outside as an edge rusher in the NFL, and could hear his name called anywhere in the first round.

Will McDonald IV

  • EDGE, Iowa State
  • 6'4", 239 lbs

You'll hear the words "bouncy" or "twitchy" to describe Will McDonald IV, likely because his 239-pound frame gets off the line quick and moves right past offensive linemen.

"I did martial arts, basketball. I wrestled, I played a bit of soccer," McDonald said at Iowa State's pro day. "And I kind of just, you know, took all that and I just made like a versatile type of player. I mean, I kind of built Will McDonald."

Sam LaPorta

  • TE, Iowa
  • 6'3", 245 lbs

Following the likes of George Kittle, Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson may not be easy, but Sam LaPorta could be next.

In a loaded tight end class that includes Michael Mayer (Notre Dame) and Dalton Kincaid (Utah), even a second or third-round landing spot wouldn't impact LaPorta's NFL chances. He's got solid hands with loads of yards-after-catch (YAC) ability.

RELATED: Locked On NFL Mock Draft Special 2023: Predicting NFL Draft moves for all 32 teams

Xavier Hutchinson

  • WR, Iowa State
  • 6'2", 203 lbs

While this year isn't projected as a strong wide receiver class, Xavier Hutchinson could be a Day 2 steal with his combination of size and quickness.

He's dreamed about playing in the NFL since he was five. So what would he tell kid Hutchinson today? 

"I think he wouldn't believe me. I think he wouldn't be able to grasp it. Even at times, I can't even grasp it now. So, I think he would be proud of every step that we took along the way to get here."

Jack Campbell

  • LB, Iowa
  • 6'5", 249 lbs

Jack Campbell is the prototypical physical specimen who tackles people for a living.

The First Team All-American this past year could become the next in a line of Hawkeye linebackers at the next level (Josey Jewell, Anthony Hitchens, Ben Neimann and Christian Kirksey just to name a recent few).

Anthony Johnson Jr.

  • S, Iowa State
  • 6'0", 205 lbs

MJ Anderson

  • DE, Iowa State
  • 6'2 1/2", 269 lbs

Riley Moss

  • CB, Iowa
  • 6'1", 193 lbs

Riley Moss won't be the highest-drafted prospect on this list, but he may be the most fun. 

The former high school track star ran a 4.45 at the NFL Combine 40-yard dash and totaled 11 interceptions in his Hawkeye career. Three of those INTs ended as touchdowns.

He also returned four kickoffs this past season, averaging over 23 yards a return.

WATCH: 2023 NFL Draft prospect highlights on YouTube

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