Siaki Ika is one of the most fun watches in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Baylor Bear is a wrecking ball on defense and should hear his name called inside the top 50. This detailed scouting report highlights what makes Ika so special.
Name: Siaki Ika
School: Baylor (formerly LSU)
Position: Defensive Tackle
Age: 22 (Nov. 7, 2000)
Weight: 358 pounds*
Siaki Ika 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report
Siaki Ika grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, and originally committed to the BYU Cougars. As the No. 1 player in all of Utah, this was a monumental signing for BYU. However, before enrolling, the four-star recruit flipped his commitment to LSU, opting for a fresh start in a new state.
With LSU, Ika played as a true freshman in 2019 and helped the Tigers to a College Football National Championship. The following season saw Ika play a few games before transferring to the Big 12.
He joined Baylor in 2021 and won the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Award. In 2022, Ika earned a spot on the First Team All-Big 12. In 26 starts with the Bears, the star defensive tackle left a 358-pound mark on the program.
Now, he heads for the 2023 NFL Draft. After lining up all over the interior of the defensive line, NFL scouts are likely salivating over the idea of adding Ika to their defense. This detailed scouting report highlights the best and worst of Ika as a prospect. Without further ado, let’s dig into the strengths.
•Explosive First Step – Ika should not move as well as he does for his size. The most impressive part of his game is how quickly he gets off the snap. Ika perfectly times the snap and bursts off the line, using his god-given strength to knock his assignment back into the pocket.
•Freaky Agility – Continuing on his athleticism, Ika moves well laterally. Being able to move his weight around as quickly as he does is unheard of. Ika can stop on a dime, readjust, and still make a play on the ball, even with his size. The fluidity of his body movement leaves my jaw on the floor every time I watch.
•Power – Ika is not only a great athlete, but he is also absurdly powerful. He uses a strong lower half to attack the interior of the offensive line by gaining leverage and churning his legs. Ika’s hands are like vice grips and once he clamps on, opposing linemen are dead in the water.
•Build – Ika’s frame will allow him to kick all the way inside to nose tackle in the NFL. He is strong enough to take on interior linemen and handle double teams at will.
•One of One Personality – Ika is a one-of-a-kind personality. He is hilarious and always leaves the locker room in a better place than he found it. NFL seasons are long, so having an upbeat vibe like Ika goes a long way in keeping the energy up for the roster.
•Experience – Ika started 26 games with Baylor and appeared in 16 more during his prior stint with LSU. On the Tigers, Ika was a core member of the defense, giving him crucial experience on the biggest of stages. No moment in the NFL will be too big for Ika.
•Length – The primary part of Ika’s physical profile that concerns me is his lack of ideal arm length. The Baylor defender stuffed multiple gaps at a high level in college, but NFL players are longer, faster, and stronger. Ika could struggle to bring the same impact to the league because of his lack of reach.
•Pad Level – This one should come as no surprise considering how big of an individual Ika is. He gets caught too high as a pass rusher, at times, giving the opposing lineman a chance to gain leverage and negate Ika’s rush attempt. More consistency is needed in this area to be a three-down player.
•Pass-Rush Upside – Ika was not a sack artist in college, and he doesn’t project to be one in the NFL either. While he is more than capable of collapsing the pocket with his power, there are very few secondary moves in his pass-rushing arsenal. When Ika’s progress is stunted as a pass rusher, he lacks the ability to mix in finesse and work his way around the block.
2023 NFL Draft Grade
•Fringe-Day One (No. 2 DT on my Big Board)
Siaki Ika will be a very productive rookie no matter where he ends up in the 2023 NFL Draft. For teams like the Cowboys and Bills at the bottom of round one, Ika would transform their units upon arrival. He grades out as a fringe day-one selection on my board and ranks No. 2 behind only Jalen Carter when it comes to defensive tackles.
Games Evaluated: 13