Browns Siaki Ika has great weight lifted from his shoulders

Mar 2, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Baylor defensive lineman Siaki Ika (DL08) participates in a Combine drill.
Mar 2, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Baylor defensive lineman Siaki Ika (DL08) participates in a Combine drill. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns Round 3 draft pick Siaki Ika (see-ah-key ee-kuh) is a big man at 335 pounds, but he is a mere wisp of his former self, having played his career for the Baylor University Bears at a gargantuan 358 pounds.

So, congratulations to him on losing the weight, and no doubt he looks and feels a lot better. Us amateur scouts and draft evaluators need to realize that all the film that Ika left at Baylor, and all the scouting reports need to be revised accordingly. He has a different body now than the one he had as a college football player.

There is a major difference between a 335-pound defensive tackle and a 358-pound defensive tackle. Danny Shelton did this experiment for the Browns during his rookie season when he had trouble adjusting to the NFL game and his weight got out of control. In that season he had 36 tackles.

In the offseason, he got serious about diet and conditioning and got back down to 335 pounds, the same weight as Ika, and he turned in 59 tackles. In short, there was no comparison between overweight Sheltong and properly conditioned Shelton. In 2015, Shelton played like a beached whale. In 2016, it was his turn to whale on some offensive linemen.

He wasn't a glamorous player, but teams did not run up the middle against the Browns that season, and although he did not generate a lot of sacks, the pocket had a time limit.

It bears mention that Shelton weighed in at 339 pounds at the 2015 Combine. Ika weighed 335 pounds at the 2023 Combine. Shelton's 40-yard dash time was 5.64 seconds compared to Ika's 5.39, meaning that Ika is 0.25 seconds faster. For a big man, Ika's time is very acceptable.

Ika's job is not to be an every-down defensive tackle. He will be a rotational defensive tackle, playing on the early downs and tasked with stopping the run. Paired with Dalvin Tomlinson, opposing defense won't gain easy yards up the middle like last season.

Someone else will come in at DT to disrupt the pocket in passing situations. Guessing here is that Ika should not be expected to make the Pro Bowl, but he will be able to fill his role as a run-stopper. After last year's disaster at DT, that ought to be good enough.

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