The Good: Skoronski is only 21 years old and yet has three full years of starting experience in the Big 10 under his belt. His body type is more stout than the typical left tackle; his physical resemblance isn’t far off from Rashawn Slater, the incumbent LT at Northwestern. With that though, Skoronski has a sturdy base and has proven on tape that he can reset his balance and recover in reps where he loses early ground. Skoronski’s feet, instincts, and positioning are all excellent. He’s a menace when given opportunities to pull, seal, and down block. In pass protection, Skoronski handles speed around the edge well, and he has enough core strength to anchor against most pass rushers. He’s clearly in tune with his technique and a student of the finer things that go into offensive line play. Skoronski never disappoints with pad level and his pass sets improved over time; you even see him working new things into his game during live reps.
The Bad: The main drawback against Skoronski is his size, with both suboptimal arm length and a relative lack of raw power. I don’t care all that much about length in his case, but the power issue does show up when Skoronski is lined up across from high-end pass rushers; that clip of him getting flattened by Lukas Van Ness has reached viral status on NFL Draft Twitter. As a run blocker on the move, Skoronski sustains more than he drives and finishes, and he can occasionally get off-balance when attacking forward. Skoronski has the style of a mauler in that he grips his man and fights until the whistle – which is largely a good thing – though the drawbacks are that he’s not as natural when defenders are able to counter against him, and he can allow too much inside leverage when he overly locks into a man on the edge. Also, and I assume this is something that Skoronski is well aware of and lives with for his best technique, but there is a little too much obvious pre-snap variance between his run and pass sets.
The Bottom Line: Even if those ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ sections have similar word counts, don’t be fooled; Skoronski is a beast. It’s really easy to nitpick offensive linemen, and in Skoronski’s case the pros outweigh the cons. At his ripe age with big-time experience and plenty of talent and technique to go along with it, Skoronski shouldn’t wait long to hear his name called on Draft Day. I absolutely believe he can – and should – stay at tackle in the NFL too despite chatter of kicking him inside. And though it’s not like Northwestern had a roster full of quitters by the end of the season, it’s noteworthy that Skoronski not only stuck by the program but played his ass off until the final game of the Wildcats’ 1-11 season in 2022.
Though I’ve generally avoided pontificating on specific landing spots for prospects in these profiles, I can’t believe the Bears aren’t working harder to manipulate the Draft board and position themselves to take Skoronski. All of the talk is about Chicago trading back and staying within range for Will Anderson and Jalen Carter – and I’m familiar with their work – but landing a bigger trade haul and still leaving with the local kid at a premium position sounds like the ideal outcome to me.
Grade: Top 10 Pick
Pro Comp: Ryan Ramczyk
- Michigan State 2021
- Wisconsin 2021
- Nebraska 2022
- Penn State 2022
- Wisconsin 2022
- Ohio State 2022