5 lively outsiders for the Minnesota Vikings first-round pick in 2023
By Dean Jones
Siaki Ika – DT (Baylor)
If the Minnesota Vikings make their expected switch back to a 4-3 base defense after Ed Donatell’s experiment backfired in 2022, then they seem a little light on options on the defensive line interior. This bears even more significance if Dalvin Tomlinson’s demands cannot be met and he walks in free agency.
This would be disappointing, but something fans should be ready for in Minnesota’s current financial plight. Depending on what transpires before the draft, finding a long-term defensive tackle could be the team’s biggest priority.
Siaki Ika could be the problem-solver Minnesota’s looking for. The Baylor product looks every bit the ferocious defensive tackle he portrays on the field, boasting some eye-catching athleticism for a man his size.
Ika is a formidable presence to shift off the block and has the hand technique to make life difficult for opposing offensive linemen. There is also enough motor to close down space and rush the passer when opportunities arise.
Providing some kinks are worked out such as tackling technique, Ika comes into the NFL with Day 1 starting potential. Something the Vikings could need as a matter of urgency if Tomlinson takes his chances elsewhere.