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5 Things to Know: Draft

5 things to know about DT Siaki Ika

At 335 pounds, Ika instantly becomes the heaviest player on the Browns’ roster


The Browns bolstered their defensive line Friday with their second pick of the third round, selecting Baylor DT Siaki Ika with the 98th overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Here are five things to know about Ika.

Biggest player on the roster

At 335 pounds, Ika instantly becomes the heaviest player on the Browns' roster. His weight was a key part of why the Browns were interested in him — not only because of how much space he takes in the interior, but how well he uses it to play as a powerful defender.

"I'll call it a 'Schwartzism,'" Executive VP of Football Operations and GM Andrew Berry said. "He (DC Jim Schwartz) wants guys to be as big as they possibly can, without sacrificing movement. For some guys at defensive tackle, that may be 305 and others that may be 355. Siaki has been anywhere from 335 to 355. depending on what the scheme required. For us, we'll work with him when he gets on site for what we're going to ask him to do, but he has played effectively throughout that weight range."

A huge 2021

Ika flew onto draft radars after a big 2021 season where he totaled 6.5 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks. That earned him Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year honors as well as a second team all Big-12 selection.

Ika's production dipped as a senior — he recorded two tackles for a loss and didn't tally a sack — but he still flashed some traits that made him worthy of a Day 2 selection. He still earned first team All-Big 12 honors as a senior for totaling 24 tackles and two pass breakups.

Check out photos of Browns 2023 third round pick Siaki Ika.

Potential to become a run-stuffer

As his big frame suggests, Ika is built to become a true run-stuffing defensive tackle. That's what’s Lance Zierlein said of him in draft profile, where he projected Ika to eventually become an average starter and wrote that he should be able to immediately contribute on non-passing downs.

"Ika is made for gap control with his wide frame and ready anchor," Zierlein said. "While he has the potential to become a highly effective block-eater as an odd or even front nose tackle, he's quick enough off the snap to penetrate and disrupt play design if teams try to block him one-on-one."

National champ at LSU

Before playing with Baylor as a junior and senior, Ika spent his first two years at LSU, where he played 13 games his freshman year and tallied 17 tackles and 1.5 tackles for a loss. The Tigers, of course, won the National Championship that year.

Ika entered the transfer portal at the end of the 2020 season after playing four games with the Tigers his sophomore season, where he totaled five tackles with one sack and one tackle for a loss.

Polynesian roots

Ika is the youngest of five children from a family that grew up in Salt Lake City. His parents, however, migrated from the Tongan islands before he was born, and Ika has held his Polynesian roots close to him his whole life.

"That's one of my favorite things about me is how much in tune I am with my family and the Polynesian community in Utah," Ika told John Werner of the Waco Tribune-Herald. "That's what I love about where I grew up. I have a lot of friends who didn't grow up around that. They want it so bad. They see how in tune we are with culture and different traditional attire and activities. It's a part of history and knowing where you come from."