Northwestern offensive tackle Peter Skoronski has probably been the most scrutinized non-quarterback prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft. Few players in this class boast his elevated technical ability at their position while having the requisite athletic profile for NFL success. However, Skoronski’s scouting report also reveals why size may ultimately matter for his selection spot.
Peter Skoronski NFL Draft Profile
Green Bay Packers fans will already be acutely accustomed to Skoronski’s success. The Northwestern OT is the grandson of Packers Hall of Fame enshrinee Bob Skoronski — the captain of multiple championship-winning Green Bay teams. Early success didn’t fall far from the family tree, with Peter becoming the highest o-line recruit in Northwestern history.
With teammate Rashawn Slater opting out of the 2020 season, Skoronski started at left tackle for the Wildcats as a true freshman. He led a unit that allowed just 1.29 sacks per game. As a result, Skoronski became the first Wildcats freshman to earn All-Big Ten honors since 2017.
Leading the way for Evan Hull‘s 1,000-plus-yard rushing season in 2021, the Northwestern OT earned first-team recognition as a sophomore. Meanwhile, his pass-protection ability, combined with his prowess in the ground game, ensured that Skoronski entered the 2022 college football season viewed as a potential OT1 in the 2023 NFL Draft class.
After an opening weekend victory, Northwestern struggled through a difficult campaign, but Skoronski continued to go from strength to strength. Becoming the first player in Wildcats history to be a consensus All-American, the impressive offensive lineman leaves Evanston having allowed only five sacks his entire CFB career.
- Position: Offensive Tackle
- School: Northwestern
- Current Year: Junior
- Height/Weight: 6’4″, 313 pounds
Peter Skoronski Scouting Report
As mentioned multiple times above, Skoronski has earned high acclaim early in the 2023 NFL Draft cycle. He’s a three-year starter who admirably and comfortably filled the shoes of a departed teammate who is already impressing in the NFL.
While there are some areas of improvement and some historical size concerns that we’ll address a little later on, when you turn on the tape, there is undeniable and very noticeable talent there.
And that’s where we’ll start Skoronski’s scouting report.
Although there have been question marks over Skoronski’s size, there are some less-discussed advantages to his build. At 6’4″ and 313 pounds, the Northwestern prospect has a compact, stout build that allows for a naturally low and balanced center of gravity — essential for winning the leverage battle in the trenches.
The true junior OL prospect has an alluring athletic aspect to his scouting report. Skoronski is explosive off the snap, routinely getting into his pass set with excellent timing.
Meanwhile, that explosion is evident in the run game, where Skoronski’s often noticeably the first player to make contact from either team. Additionally, he glides out to the second level in the ground game with regularity.
While his explosion is impressive, Skoronski couples this with impressive agility and quick footwork. This is evident in multiple facets of the game. The Northwestern OT moves incredibly well laterally, with the ability to travel the width of the field moving sideways, as well as getting north and south. This also allows him to get into his pass sets with ease.
Additionally, Skoronski’s footwork allows him to mirror rushers in pass protection. During his Northwestern career, he was tasked with some difficult assignments against some of the most athletic pass rushers that the Big Ten has to offer. But the Northwestern OT has the ability to match footwork and redirect.
Pass protection is arguably the better element of Skoronski’s game relative to run blocking. In addition to his impressive footwork, the Northwestern OT routinely plays with good pad level, which helps him manipulate his opponent.
A former high school shot-put standout, Skornoski showcases superb situational body control. He’s also displayed good hand timing and placement, with the ability to quickly reset and reposition his hands when required.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
Furthermore, Skoronski sets with a wide base. Once set, his anchor is formidable, with an incredibly strong lower body that belies his slender stature. Skoronski’s combination of body control and natural balance also helps with his pass-protection anchor.
Even when Skoronski’s opponent gets into his chest plate and snaps his head back, his lower half remains rooted. Watching him hold his ground reminds me of the time I once tried to move a table that was bolted into the floor.
Although pass protection is the premier attribute of his scouting report, Skoronski also adds value in the ground game. The Northwestern OT often takes good angles in the run, helping open up rushing lanes at the line of scrimmage.
Meanwhile, his hand placement and timing make him a high-level movement blocker. The solid lower body that helps anchor in pass protection comes in use here in the ground game, allowing the running back time to exploit the hole with maximum impact.
Physical and technical elements of Skoronski’s scouting report are coupled with intangible aspects. You don’t get courted by Notre Dame and Stanford, or land at Northwestern, without possessing high-level intelligence.
The 2023 NFL Draft prospect showcases his football IQ with the ability to diagnose stunts, twists, and delayed blitzes. Meanwhile, he routinely looks for work and plays with a relentless competitive toughness.
Areas of Improvement
As you can see from the strengths section of his scouting report, there is much to love about Skoronski as a 2023 NFL Draft OT prospect. However, there are some legitimate areas for improvement, and there’s a noticeable concern as it pertains to his NFL projection.
Could these limit his ceiling in the battle to be the OT1 of the class?
Although the Northwestern OT demonstrates impressive lower body strength, his game lacks a power element to it. In the games studied, Skoronski didn’t dominate opponents with savagery in the same way his contemporaries did.
Now, offensive line play isn’t all violence and destruction, but this lack of power limits his upside, particularly in the ground game. Likewise, he doesn’t appear to pack a powerful punch at the point of attack.
While he’s been ever present for Northwestern these past two seasons, and a detailed search didn’t turn up any injury history, it’s worth noting that Skoronski wears a knee brace on each leg. It’s likely to be nothing, and many offensive linemen wear a brace without there being a serious medical reason, but it’s something to be aware of.
The biggest question mark over Skoronski’s NFL projection is his lack of size and length. This isn’t the usual “you have to have 33-inch arms to play tackle in the NFL” numbers-based argument. There are some on-tape issues with Skoronski allowing long-armed rushers into his chest, and his lack of power generation could be a by-product of his below-average length.
Current Draft Projection for Northwestern OT Peter Skoronski
Skoronski has been viewed as a potential first-round selection and the first offensive lineman taken in the 2023 NFL Draft since the early days of evaluating this class. In many respects, it’s easy to see why.
Despite the smaller-than-desired height and length for an NFL OT, the Northwestern product boasts arguably the greatest technical ability of any offensive lineman in the class while being an explosive athlete with high football intelligence and competitive toughness.
Skoronski’s ability to impact the game in multiple phases at a high level should earn him first-round attention, regardless of the question marks over his long-term projection. Whether an NFL team opts to use him at LT or transition him inside to guard, he’s worthy of that level of capital.
So, where will Skoronski play at the NFL level? I’m of the mindset that his physical makeup will see him play left guard in the NFL to an extremely high level. However, that isn’t to say that Skoronski can’t become an impact-making LT in the league. He certainly has the elevated technical ability and athletic profile to do so.
Peter Skoronski Combine Measurements and Results
It’s important not to focus too intently on numbers when scrutinizing prospect performance at the NFL Combine. A cursory glance at Skoronski’s measurements and testing times from Indianapolis immediately brings two to the forefront of the mind.
The 32 1/4″ arm measurement is one — but we’ve already touched on that — and the other is the Northwestern OT’s 40-yard dash time. His 5.16-second effort was a middling one but focus less on that and more on the second-ranked vertical and broad jumps as the true assessment of Skoronski’s athletic potential.
- Wingspan: 79 1/2″
- Arm: 32 1/4″
- Hand: 10″
- 40-Yard Dash: 5.16 seconds
- 10-Yard Split: 1.75 seconds
- Vertical Jump: 34.5″
- Broad Jump: 9’7″
- 3-Cone Drill: 7.8 seconds
- Bench Press: 30 reps
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