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NFL Draft viewer’s guide: Armed Forces Bowl, Baylor vs Air Force

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By: Matt Holder

Siaki Ika | Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images

A massive DT to watch

It’s no question that the Las Vegas Raiders are going to be looking for defensive tackles in the NFL Draft next April, and they could fill a big need with one of the biggest prospects in this year’s class. The Armed Forces Bowl will give Raider fans a chance to check out defensive tackle Siaki Ika as the Baylor Bears take on the Air Force Falcons.

Below is a look at the top 300 prospects for Baylor and Air Force on NFL Mock Draft Database’s consensus big board heading into the game.

Baylor

Siaki Ika, DT (No. 62)

Career stats (four seasons): 70 total tackles (36 solo), 10.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 3 PD

NMDD draft projection as of 12/21: 2nd round

Scouting report via TheDraftNetwork.com (full report)

Baylor defensive tackle Siaki Ika projects as a versatile nose tackle at the NFL level. “Apu” Ika is predominantly an A-gap defender with delightful mobility for his stature, allowing him to flash as both a penetration player and as a space-eater in the heart of the defense. Ika’s ceiling is that of a starting nose tackle and his valuation will likely reflect that for better and for worse.

Connor Galvin, OT (No. 76)

NMDD draft projection as of 12/21: 6th round

Scouting report via TDN (full report)

Connor Galvin offers a long, fluid, and athletic build on the edge—which will certainly move the needle for zone rushing offenses as they look to find the right blend of mass, length, and mobility to feature on their offensive fronts. Galvin has sufficient lateral mobility to flow and slide with the front; I am confident that he’ll transition best to a wide zone offense. I see plenty of similarities to 2022 rookie Kellen Diesch, who was one of the prize UDFAs to hit the pool after the 2022 NFL Draft. Galvin’s length aids him on the edge, not just from a wingspan perspective but also with how long his torso is. He can lean and extend to help emboss edges and force steeper turns. Galvin is a well-tenured player with the Bears and you can tell his playing experience has him well aligned to identify assignments and pressure opportunities. He appeared to quickly identify games up front and was prepared to pass them off to his guard while keeping a firm level on their half of the pocket. One thing I can appreciate about the Bears’ offense in general is the number of true pass sets you got to see relative to some of the other Big 12 offenses. You have a much better idea of how he’s going to transition here than some of his contemporaries.

Jacob Gall, iOL (No. 66)

NMDD draft projection as of 12/21: UDFA

Scouting report via NFLDraftBuzz.com (full report)

In the run game, Gall plays with a mean streak and does a nice job generating a push at the initial point of attack. Gall can get outside and does a decent job landing blocks in space.

Anchors against larger defenders in the middle; resets hands to maintain distance. Athletic enough to help on nose tackle then pick up twist or late blitzer. Mirrors quick interior rushers. Looks to help the center when uncovered.

Finishes and doesn’t quit; competitor with a positive attitude and leadership traits that coaches admire.

Awareness is above-average for his limited experience. Sells trap block and can turn to seal. Fluid getting to and adjust at the second level.

Air Force

Kyle Patterson, TE (No. 88, recovering from midseason injury, questionable)

Career stats (three seasons): 18 catches, 318 yards, 2 TDs

NMDD draft projection as of 12/21: UDFA

Scouting report via The Athletic’s Dane Brugler (no full report available at the time of writing)

Air Force fourth-year TE Kyle Patterson (6-5, 253) missed the second half of the regular season due to injury, so it’s unknown if he will be able to play in the bowl game. If he does, he’d be the clear top prospect for the Falcons. Patterson, who was a high school teammate of 49ers QB Brock Purdy, hasn’t been a high-volume pass-catcher in college but has draftable grades (if the medicals check out) because of his inline blocking ability.

Originally posted on Silver And Black Pride