Peter Skoronski said that playing offensive line was sort of pre-destined for him.
It didn’t hurt that his grandfather, Bob Skoronski, played 13 years at left tackle for the Green Bay Packers, winning five NFL titles and the first two Super Bowls.
And it didn’t hurt that Skoronski was a bigger-sized kid even from his first practices as a pee wee player.
“I think it’s in the bloodlines, in the genetics. Actually I don’t think I had a choice when I started playing tackle football,” Skoronski said at his introductory press conference after being the Titans first-round pick Wednesday. “I think I was too heavy to even be allowed to carry the ball, so I always played o-line. I never really played anything else. It always felt natural, because I was a bigger dude.
“That was my first year in the sixth grade, playing in a seventh and eighth grade league. So I was pretty large and immediately had the stripe on my helmet, saying I couldn’t carry the ball. I had to be on the o-line.”
In playing offensive line, Skoronski settled in at left tackle and played that position primarily during his time at Northwestern.
Skoronski said he will play wherever the Titans need him to, as many project him to start at left guard, but said he believes he has what it takes to play tackle in the NFL as well. The reason Skoronski is projected as a guard by some is the fact that he has shorter than normal arms for a tackle. Skoronski said it isn’t an issue in his mind.
“Obviously, it was a big talking point. In my opinion, there is so much more that goes into being a good tackle than just arm length.There’s so much more to blocking than that,” Skoronski said. “I think at the end of the day, it’s about blocking people, and I proved I could do that in college. But there’s so much in terms of footwork and punching and being efficient with your hands that matter, and that’s something I have to continue to work on and get better at, but that matters more than just throwing your arms up for measurement. I think there’s more to it than that and that’s why I think I can play the tackle position.”
Skoronski said he didn’t even know that the arm length was a problem until last spring.
“I didn’t really realize it was a thing until last spring when I sort of knew that the NFL process was going to be in my future,” Skoronski said. “It was kind of funny during spring ball last year, I made some comment about a rep, and I mentioned to my coach, ‘Oh, my arms are shorter so I had to do this’ And he was like, ‘I don’t care.’ So that was sort of the end of that discussion.
“It’s been a big talking point with people, but I just have to go out and block people. It’s not about length.”