Welcome to the inaugural edition of the 2023 NFL Draft Focus. In this series, we will look at the incoming prospects hoping their names will be heard on draft night. Be sure to check often as we will produce content until the event’s start.
Siaki Ika is a defensive tackle prospect out of Utah. He had a dominant senior season with 89 tackles and 14 sacks. He was invited to big games such as the All-American Bowl and the Polynesian Bowl. Rivals listed him as the top player from Utah and was a four-star prospect. He committed to play for the LSU Tigers.
Siaki had a fast start to his college career as he was part of LSU’s 2020 National Championship Team. In 13 games, he had 18 total tackles. In his second season, he only played for three games before he decided to transfer to the Baylor Bears. In these three games, he recorded five tackles and his first sack. His first season at Baylor was arguably his best as he had 24 total tackles and four sacks in 2021. He was announced as the Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year and first-team All-Big 12.
2022-2023 COLLEGE CAREER
He returned for his senior year last season. Siaki had 23 total tackles and forced 18 total pressures. For the second year in a row, he was a first-team All-Big 12. After another steady season at Baylor, he decided to enter the NFL Draft.
STRENGTHS: Prototype Size
At 6’4″, he is the prototypical nose tackle in the NFL. He uses his size to cause chaos in the backfield. For his size, he has good agility and quickness. The use of his hands is overrated as he can use them on his opponents because of their weight and can swat balls down from the line of scrimmage.
WEAKNESSES: Plays Too High
The usual complaint is he plays too high. Because of this, he looks unbalanced at times and misses some tackles. Blockers can get under his pads and stop him from making moves. There is a concern that he wasn’t able to get any sacks in his final season.
PLAYER COMPARISON: Danny Shelton
TEAMS WHO COULD DRAFT HIM
Now many sites grade him as a Day 2 pick. However, given the lack of people in his position, teams may draft him early to fill a position of need. He could potentially be drafted in the second or maybe even the first round.