Peter Skoronski arrived at Northwestern in 2020, expecting to learn from highly rated teammate Rashawn Slater. Instead, he excelled when tasked with taking Slater’s place. As a result, Skoronski enters the 2023 NFL Draft cycle with a weight of expectation upon him. Can the Northwestern OT live up to this early hype? Does Skoronski’s scouting report scream Day 1 selection, or is the rumor of a repeat Wildcat first-rounder a little premature?
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.
Success didn’t fall too far from the family tree, with Peter boasting a successful high school career for Maine South. While playing both sides of the ball, he tallied 173 pancakes in three seasons and earned All-State honors in both 2018 and 2019.
Initially a four-star recruit, Skoronski’s elevation to a five-star ranking made him the highest offensive line commitment in Northwestern history. Choosing the Wildcats over Notre Dame, Penn State, and Michigan, Northwestern offered him the opportunity to play OT when many programs recruited him as an interior offensive line prospect.
With Slater opting out of the 2020 season, Skoronski started at left tackle 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. Returning as one of CFB’s top tackles, there is significant attention on — and expectation of — Skoronski in the 2023 NFL Draft.
- Position: Offensive Tackle
- School: Northwestern
- Current Year: Junior
- Height/Weight: 6’4″, 315 pounds
Peter Skoronski scouting report
As mentioned multiple times above, Skoronski has earned high acclaim early in the 2023 NFL Draft cycle. A two-year starter who admirably and comfortably filled the shoes of a departed teammate who is already impressing in the NFL, it’s easy to get whipped up in the clamor to anoint the Wildcat the OT1 of the class. Turn on the tape and you can see that there’s talent there, and that’s where we’ll start his scouting report.
While Northwestern lists their OT at 6’4″ and 315 pounds, you can find multiple variations on Skoronski’s size with a simple google search. Reportedly, he tips the scales under 300 pounds, which wouldn’t surprise given that he was 275 pounds in high school. While this may seem far from a strength, we’ll kick start Skoronski’s scouting report with how his slender frame benefits his game.
The potential 2023 NFL Draft prospect — he’s just a true junior after all — 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 he’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 straight-line speed and explosion are 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. Last season, he was tasked with some difficult assignments, including David Ojabo. The Michigan man was easily one of the most athletic pass rushers in the previous NFL draft class, but the Northwestern OT matched his footwork and redirect with a high level of comfort.
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.
Furthermore, Skoronski sets with a wide base. Once set, his anchor is formidable, with an incredibly strong lower body that belies his slender stature. Even when his 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 early scouting report, Skoronski also adds value in the ground game. The Northwestern OT often takes good angles in the run game, helping open up rushing lanes at the line of scrimmage. The solid lower body that helps anchor in pass protection comes in use here too, giving 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.
Skoronski’s 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. Meanwhile, 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, you rarely see Skoronski dominate an opponent to the point of finishing him into the ground. 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 issue for 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. I don’t have an official number for the Northwestern OT’s arm or wingspan, but I don’t need one to see there are some issues here. Longer-armed pass rushers routinely can get into his body. There are multiple examples of Skoronski leaning to compensate for the lack of length, as he struggled to execute reach blocks in the games studied.
Current draft projection for Northwestern OT Peter Skoronski
Is the current NFL draft hype around the Northwestern OT warranted? Skoronski certainly has many alluring qualities within his scouting report. With another strong season, he’s likely to continue to elevate his stock and remain in the conversation as one of the top offensive line prospects in the class.
Skoronski’s combination of pass-protection ability, athletic excellence, football intelligence, and competitive toughness make him an alluring prospect. If he can add power to his game this fall, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him as a Day 1 candidate.
Adding bulk and strength — without a trade-off in his athletic capability — could see Skoronski viewed as a more versatile and complete offensive line prospect. However, at present, the question marks over his length and power might limit his upside, and therefore, NFL draft potential.