Everybody is focused on the Chicago Bears taking a defensive lineman in the 1st round. That isn’t a surprise. This draft class appears strong at those positions. However, GM Ryan Poles has stated the offensive line remains a big priority. He wants to get Justin Fields more protection. If Chicago trades down from #1 overall, the idea of taking one of the top tackles becomes real. Peter Skoronski will be one of the first names mentioned. So let’s take a look.
- Position: OT
- School: Northwestern
- Year: Junior
- Height: 6’4
- Weight: 300 lbs
Peter Skoronski overview:
- Power isn’t lacking in the run game. He’s able to drive guys out of plays to create lanes.
- Consistently good with fundamentals and technique. Always seems to get the leverage advantage.
- Shows awareness of twists and stunts and isn’t caught off guard by blitzes.
- Anchor is mostly solid. Can handle power moves when required.
One of the concerns raised with Braxton Jones is his inability to anchor against power rushers. If he gets knocked back, he’s unable to reset his feet without losing his balance. This play is a great example of that. Skoronski absorbs the initial jolt from the defender, keeps his feet, and drops anchor. The rusher loses his momentum, maintaining the integrity of the pocket. The quarterback then gets the ball out with no issues. Little plays like that often separate good tackles from everybody else.
- Good at finding work at the second level, springing RBs for bigger plays.
- Footwork is disciplined. Able to set and reset to stay in front of rushers.
- Plenty of nasty in his approach. Not afraid to give defenders a little extra.
- Athleticism is fine, but not elite. Some will question his range and foot speed.
- Has a bad habit of letting defenders in his body too often. Has to work his hands better.
- Length is a big question mark. Arms appear shorter than average.
- Appears vulnerable to speed on the edge, which he’ll see a lot in the NFL.
Pro comparison: Jake Matthews
Matthews had similar questions about him. Evaluators weren’t sure if he had the athleticism and length to survive at left tackle. They wondered if moving inside might be the best decision. In the end, Atlanta kept him at his original spot, and he’s become a Pro Bowler. Skoronski has a similar frame, is also a next-generation player like Matthews, and gets it done through technique and consistency.
Subscribe to the BFR Podcast for analysis, insight, and discussion about Chicago Bears football.
Projection: Top 10
The truth is Peter Skoronski is one of the safer picks in this draft. His ceiling isn’t as high as other tackles in the class, but he’s proven against some of the best competition in college football. He is tough, experienced, athletic, and disciplined. Any team looking for somebody they can trust on the edge, they could do a lot worse than him. If push comes to shove, moving to guard wouldn’t be a problem either.