WACO, TX -SEPTEMBER 3: Siaki Ika #62 of the Baylor Bears plays against the Albany Great Danes at McLane Stadium on September 3, 2022 in Waco, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
WACO, TX -SEPTEMBER 3: Siaki Ika #62 of the Baylor Bears plays against the Albany Great Danes at McLane Stadium on September 3, 2022 in Waco, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Should Siaki Ika Go In The First Round of the 2023 NFL Draft?

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Siaki Ika is a mountain of a man, and there are only so many men his size and with his athletic ability in the world.

He’s intriguing, and he’s been climbing up draft boards.

The thing I liked most is his effort.

Not only does he not take plays off, but there were a few times he chased down a screen or a play downfield.

Check out how highly Ika Is Ranked

Pro Football Focus, CBS, Pro Football Network, Bleacher Report, The Athletic and Barstool Sports all have put a first-round grade on him.

It’s easy to fall in love with his size, and the quick swim move he flashes getting into the pocket.

However, this is why it’s important to look at his full body of work on game film.

There is enough there to make a good highlight reel, but there are concerns.

What’s the biggest concern about Ika?

For a man his size, he should not be getting moved out of his area as often as he did on running plays.

His girth is his greatest asset, and whether he projects to a nose in a 3-4 (three down defensive linemen and four linebackers) or a 4-3 (four down defensive linemen and three linebackers) he needs to do a better job holding his ground to be considered as a first-round pick.

Half the time Ika holds his ground and shows it’s in him, but the other half the time he was neutralized or moved out of the lane.

What does recent history tell us about interior big men?

More than likely, Ika will perform well at the Combine and his pro day.

He’s athletic and he can run.

However, we’ve seen a couple of big prospects like this over the past couple of drafts.

Jordan Davis (Georgia) is 6-foot-6, 336 pounds and Christian Barmore (Alabama) checks in at 6-foot-4, 310 pounds.

Davis went first-round (2022) to Philadelphia and Barmore went second-round to New England (2021).

Through his first three games with the Eagles, Davis has logged 8 tackles (3 solo and 5 assists) and zero sacks.

Last season in 17 regular season games, Barmore produced 46 tackles (23 solo, 23 assists) and 1.5 sacks.

What does this tell us?

These were two highly touted prospects who have had limited pro production.

In the NFL’s pass-happy game, it’s all about getting to the quarterback. However, these big men are not able to make a difference pass rushing when the average release time is two-to-three seconds.

How do their college careers compare?

At Georgia, Davis put up 90 career tackles (37 solo, 53 assists) and 7.0 sacks. Barmore, while at Alabama, had a total of 63 tackles (34 solo, 29 assists) and 10.0 sacks.

Ika played at LSU in 2018 and 2019 before transferring to Baylor, where he has played since. He weighs 22 pounds more than Davis, and 48 pounds more than Barmore.

🚩To date (in 30 games played in 3+ seasons) Ika has produced a total of 57 tackles (29 solo tackles, 28 assists), 3 passes defended and 5 sacks.

That is not first-round production at his level of competition🚩

#62 Siaki Ika 6-foot-4, 358 pounds

Daniel Kelly’s Grade: Third-Round – Early Fall 2022 Report

First Round Mock Big Board: TBD

Projected by 12.2% of the NFL Draft Community to be a first-round pick as of October 6, 2022 (nflmockdraftdatabase.com)

2021 game film reviewed: Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Kansas State

Level of competition: High

2021 stats: 24 tackles (17 solo, 7 assists), 1 pass defended, 4.0 sacks (33 pressures pff.com)

2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report:

Thick interior four-point stance linemen with strong effort level, but is inconsistent holding the point. Draws fair number of double teams in passing situations and tends to get a slight to moderate push. Neutralized too often. Never overpowering. Excels using quick swim move to penetrate a gap. Got close a couple times. Can overcome blocks and make solid tackles, but he is inconsistent disengaging vs. the run. Misses tackles too and can get moved out of his apartment. Best attribute is enabling others to make plays by occupying blockers. Will chase. He’s not Vita Vea.

What to watch for during the 2022 college football season:

  1. Does he hold the point consistently?
  2. What is his sack/pressure production?
  3. Does he uses hands well taking on and shedding blocks?
  4. Does he look dominant?

I see Ika as a developmental prospect with upside, who will need strong technique coaching at the next level.

Daniel Kelly is a former NFL Scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated New York Jets and he is the Editor-in-Chief for First Round Mock. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @firstroundmock.

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