First-round prospect for the Pack: Northwestern OT Peter Skoronski
The Green Bay Packers hold the No. 15 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft and may eventually take control of the 13th overall pick if the New York Jets agree to deal the first-round pick in a trade for Aaron Rodgers.
Who could be legitimate targets for general manager Brian Gutekunst?
Between now and the draft, Packers Wire will periodically break down one potential first-round prospect capable of landing in Green Bay come Thursday, April 27.
Up next in the series is Northwestern offensive tackle Peter Skoronski:
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Arm Length: 32.25″
40-yard dash: 5.16 seconds
Vertical Jump: 34.5″
Broad Jump: 9’07”
Three-cone: 7.8 seconds
Bench: 30 reps
Relative Athletic Score: 9.28
From a Relative Athletic Score standpoint, Skoronski’s elite athletic testing fits what the Green Bay Packers typically look for, specifically an elite 10-yard split in the 40-yard dash, an established trend under Brian Gutekunst with offensive tackles. However, it’s also worth pointing out that Skoronski’s arms are under 33″, which has been a threshold for offensive tackles not only in the Gutekunst era, but going back to Ted Thompson’s tenure as well.
What he can do, what to know
(AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)
— Skoronski has played 2,225 snaps over his three years at Northwestern, with just about all of them coming at left tackle.
— Skoronski was dominant during the 2022 season and ranked as one of the best offensive tackles across several stat categories. Out of the 200 eligible tackles with at least 500 snaps last season, Skoronski ranked first in pass-blocking grade from PFF, he tied for fourth in pass-blocking efficiency, and he gave up the sixth-fewest pressures. Skoronski’s run-blocking grade was also the ninth highest.
— According to PFF, the Wildcats ran a mixture of zone and gap run-blocking schemes. The Packers, under Matt LaFleur, run a heavy dose of zone-blocking techniques.
— Although Skoronski spent pretty much his entire career at left tackle, there are a number of draft analysts that believe he will be better suited at guard at the NFL level.
— Skoronski is The Draft Network’s third ranked offensive tackle in this year’s class – behind Broderick Jones and Paris Johnson – and the 14th ranked prospect overall.
— For more on Skoronski’s game, here is what Lance Zierlein of NFL.com wrote:
Skoronski spent his college years manning the quarterback’s blindside at tackle, but the body type and skill set are begging for a move to guard, where he can play his best football as a pro. He’s broad across his upper and lower body, but he has short arms. Skoronski plays with a deft blend of technique, feel and power as a run blocker and is capable of thriving in any run-blocking scheme. His lack of length can be a problem against stab-and-charge bull rushers and edge speed, but a move inside would mitigate those concerns. If Skoronski can get his protection anchor sorted out, he has the run-blocking talent to become an instant starter and a top-flight guard.
How he fits
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Skoronski’s fit with the Packers all depends on whether they view him as a tackle or a guard. If he’s a tackle in their eyes, he is someone who could compete with Yosh Nijman and Zach Tom for the starting right tackle opening this summer. At most, in 2023, he provides the Packers with a starting caliber option at tackle. At the minimum, he’s a versatile backup that can play tackle or guard. The offensive tackle depth appears to be in good shape for the upcoming season, with a healthy David Bakhtiari at left tackle, Tom, Nijman, and potentially a rookie battling for playing time at right tackle, along with Elgton Jenkins as an option as well if needed – although I imagine that they would rather keep him at guard. The Packers also have developmental players in Caleb Jones, Luke Tenuta, and Rasheed Walker.
However, next offseason, the outlook of this position group changes drastically, with Nijman set to be an unrestricted free agent and Bakhtiari potentially being a salary cap casualty. While Jones, Tenuta, and Walker have upside, we do not know if they can become starting-caliber players. The addition of Skoronski would help the Packers with making that transition.
If Green Bay views Skoronski as a guard, I don’t believe he will end up a Packer. They have options when it comes to the interior offensive line, and historically, that just isn’t a position they prioritize in the first round. If the Packers don’t take Skoronski in Round 1, he won’t be there in Round 2.
NFL Comp: Justin Pugh
Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network compared Peter Skoronski to 2013 first-round pick Justin Pugh.
Pugh, was drafted by the New York Giants out of Syracuse, where he played offensive tackle. He began his NFL career at right tackle but after his first two seasons with the Giants, Pugh was moved to left guard. Although, at times, he has filled in at both tackle positions here and there when needed, Pugh has remained lined up inside for the majority of his career. Whether with the Giants or Arizona Cardinals, Pugh has been a reliable starter along the offensive throughout his decade-long career. By PFF’s grading system, Pugh has consistently been a much better pass blocker than run blocker.