Siaki Ika, DT, Baylor | NFL Draft Scouting Report


Defensive tackles are available in all sizes and styles, however none within the 2023 NFL Draft are fairly the identical as Baylor Bears nostril sort out Siaki Ika. There’s no mistaking the redshirt junior’s gargantuan body, and on the identical time, there’s no escaping it both. It’s straightforward to think about the Baylor DT as merely a giant man clogging speeding lanes. Nonetheless, as his scouting report reveals, Ika is greater than only a large roadblock on the coronary heart of the defensive entrance.

Siaki Ika NFL draft profile

Ika was born with NFL-ready measurement. Whereas which may not be strictly true, he was a person amongst boys at the highschool degree, measuring in at 6’3″, and simply shy of 300 kilos even early in his time at East Excessive College. A Salt Lake Metropolis native, Ika was a long-time commit of BYU. Nonetheless, a breakout season the place he earned All-USA Utah Defensive Participant of the Yr honors noticed him entice vital Energy 5 consideration.

In consequence, Ika dedicated to LSU in December 2018 and was a rotational piece on the Tigers’ 2019 nationwide title successful crew. He tallied 17 tackles with 1.5 for loss as a real freshman and was anticipated to raise himself additional in 2020. Sadly for Ika, a change of defensive scheme restricted his alternatives and influence, and he entered the switch portal having performed simply 4 video games in his sophomore season.

LSU’s loss was Baylor’s acquire, and the mammoth DT made a major influence for the Bears’ Large 12 Championship-winning crew. Tallying 24 whole tackles, Ika was a menace within the backfield with six tackles for loss and three.5 sacks. Showcasing a penchant for the massive event, 2.5 of the tackles for loss got here as Baylor defeated Oklahoma State within the title sport. Ika was named Large 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Yr and earned second-team all-conference honors.

Though attracting consideration within the earlier cycle, Ika opted to return to Baylor for the 2022 college football season. In doing so, he put himself on the forefront of the 2023 NFL Draft inside defensive position class.

  • Place: Defensive Sort out
  • College: Baylor
  • Present yr: Redshirt Junior
  • Peak/weight: 6’4″, 358 kilos

Siaki Ika scouting report

Baylor’s draft classes have had a distinctly defensive feeling prior to now three years, and with Ika, there’s an opportunity that continues in 2023. The positional worth of true nostril tackles isn’t excessive throughout the NFL, which may finally influence how excessive Ika is chosen.

As such, a primary Baylor defensive choice on Day 1 since 2011 could be a stretch. But, Ika’s scouting report is attractive, and we’ll begin it with the strengths the Baylor DT brings as a 2023 NFL Draft prospect.

Ika’s strengths

Did we point out measurement at any level within the introduction to Ika’s scouting report? It appears virtually blasé, however the Baylor DT’s sheer measurement is really a energy. At 6’4″ and 358 kilos, there really are few prospects that command house in the identical manner that Ika does. He’s the soccer equal of a dam blocking a river to forestall the village beneath it from being flooded. Making an attempt to run your offense via the hole that he inhabits is solely futile. Take away Ika, and the Baylor protection could be considerably extra inclined to assault.

Like Jordan Davis within the earlier cycle, Ika is the very definition of “two on me, someone’s free.” Within the video games studied, he was routinely double-teamed because of the risk that his measurement — mixed with different elements we’re about to debate — presents to an offense. Soccer is a straightforward numbers sport in some respects, and when one participant instructions the eye of two of his opponents, the equation is favorable for the crew with the 6’4″, 358-pound man-mountain patrolling their facet of the trenches.

Sarcastically, given presumptions related to gamers of his measurement, Ika’s run-game potential isn’t the standout aspect of his sport. Regardless of that, he does supply some upside in opposition to the bottom sport. Ika flashes a high-level potential to learn the run and find the ball provider, whereas constantly having the ability to lay arms on the rusher no matter their location. Ika isn’t overzealous in his strategy to the bottom sport, as an alternative remaining affected person which helps together with his general effectiveness in opposition to the run.

What makes Ika’s scouting report so thrilling is the upside he demonstrates within the passing sport. Already, he has a blossoming pass-rush toolbox that features chop and swim strikes that he constantly deploys to a excessive degree. The Baylor DT possesses quick, correct, refined arms that not often miss and permit him to dominate his opponent. Ika’s in a position to hit and redeploy with devastating quickness. Whereas he’s not the longest DT within the class, he’s additionally in a position to disrupt the passing sport by getting his arms up into passing lanes.

Nov 27, 2021; Waco, Texas, USA; Texas Tech Pink Raiders offensive lineman Weston Wright (70) makes an attempt to dam Baylor Bears defensive sort out Siaki Ika (62) through the second half at McLane Stadium. Obligatory Credit score: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports activities

Saving the perfect for final, Ika boasts a formidable athletic profile. Only a few gamers — not to mention gamers of his measurement — have the explosion of their sport that the Baylor DT possesses. Ika rockets out of his stance, usually being the primary defensive lineman into the backfield. This explosion is clear in his potential to penetrate gaps, whether or not in opposition to the run or within the passing sport.

Along with the explosion aspect of his athletic profile, Ika additionally boasts fast toes and respectable lateral agility. He can redirect and alter route effectively for his measurement, and he’s able to altering his pass-rush assault from the skin shoulder to the within shoulder in a heartbeat. In the meantime, Ika demonstrates good physique management in these situations to make sure he slithers via gaps with relative ease.

Whilst you don’t ideally need your 6’4″, 358-pound nostril sort out to be the one chasing down ball carriers within the open area, Ika is able to doing so. He isn’t quick in the identical manner that Georgia’s Davis was final yr, however he hustles again to the ball provider. One play in opposition to Oklahoma State final season is an efficient instance of this potential. The Baylor DT additionally takes good angles to the ball provider in pursuit.

Wrapping up the strengths of Ika’s 2023 NFL Draft scouting report is, effectively, energy. The Baylor DT is greater than able to pushing the pocket backward. He showcases wonderful decrease physique energy to stroll offensive linemen again into the trail of their quarterback. There have been a number of reps within the video games studied the place Ika pushed each parts of the double-team blocks backward, demonstrating some spectacular higher physique energy too.

Ika’s space of enchancment

Whereas Ika boasts an alluring 2023 NFL Draft scouting report, it isn’t with out areas for enchancment. In the meantime, there are some parts which may trigger pause for an ascension to the very high of the category.

Though Ika has made a behavior out of exploding into the backfield and was productive in his first season at DT for Baylor, he may have been much more so. He generally fails to complete, each as a cross rusher and run stopper. If he may work to make sure he brings down his man on the primary try within the floor sport or good points an additional cut up second of velocity as a cross rusher, Ika would show a extra dominant risk in each phases.

Despite the fact that Ika has demonstrated a robust decrease physique with spectacular physique management and adaptability, there have been a number of reps the place he was comparatively simply corralled to the ground by his opponent. This was much less a results of being brutally bullied by energy and appeared to be extra a difficulty of steadiness.

It is also a pad-level-related problem. Though the Baylor DT has showcased that he can win within the trenches by being the decrease man, there are occasions when he performs excessive and leaves his chest open to assault. These situations result in Ika being bodily overwhelmed. Moreover, he doesn’t possess elite size, which may be a difficulty when longer, highly effective, offensive linemen are in a position to provoke contact.

Present draft projection for Baylor DT Siaki Ika

Given his 6’4″, 358-pound mass, there’s an apparent and pure positional projection for Ika on the subsequent degree. He’s the epitome of a real nostril sort out who can entice double-teams to permit his teammates to rack up the gaudy statistics whereas pushing the pocket to create stress himself. Though Baylor has been identified to align him as a 3-tech, he’ll be deployed over the middle or as a 1-tech defensive sort out on the NFL degree.

Ika has high-level starter potential within the NFL. How does that translate to draft day? At current, the Baylor DT must be seen as an early Day 2 prospect on the very newest within the 2023 NFL Draft. His alluring mixture of measurement, decrease physique energy, athletic prowess, and pass-rush upside are sufficient to mitigate the areas of enchancment — particularly given a few of these are coachable parts. Ika’s an thrilling prospect who could make a major influence on the league early in his profession.

Oliver Hodgkinson is an NFL Draft and Faculty Soccer Analyst for Professional Soccer Community. Try the rest of his work here, and you will discover him on Twitter: @ojhodgkinson.

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