With top tackle in the 2023 NFL draft, Peter Skornoski, playing at Northwestern, and Bears general manager Ryan Poles admitting before the draft he's inclined to draft local players --- it almost seemed like a match made in heaven.
Despite Skoronski growing up a Packers fan -- on account of his grandfather winning five Lombardi trophies as a tackle in Green Bay -- he grew up in Park Ridge and embraced the idea of playing with the team closest to his college.
"Obviously, I grew up a Packers fan," Skoronski said to Barstool Chicago. "Did not like the Bears at all. But I think once I got into the process, I think of it more from a player standpoint, I could be working here."
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Skoronoski visited the Bears during the predraft process, speaking to Chris Morgan -- the Bears offensive line coach -- and briefly with Poles. The Bears were in need of offensive linemen, specifically tackles, and Skoronski posed as one of the best in the most recent draft class.
"They're a great team," said Skoronski. "I like their staff and their team. Halas Hall, it's an awesome facility now. I thought it was a possibility. I was excited about that. That would've been something cool, just to play at home."
Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be.
The Bears elected to draft Darnell Wright, a tackle out of Tennessee, with the No. 10 overall pick. Skoronski was drafted one pick later by the Tennessee Titans.
Part of Skoronski's experience during the predraft process was hearing reports about NFL scouts and general managers fearing over his arm length. He measured in 32.25-inch arms during the NFL combine, well below the threshold for NFL tackles.
No one can say for certainty why the Bears chose Wright over Skoronski, but the latter didn't feel targeted.
"I wasn't super upset or anything. I didn't feel slighted," Skoronski said about the Bears passing on him during the draft. "I think Darnell (Wright) is a really good player, too. No hard feelings about that."
And so, Skoronski hopes to make a legacy of his own, detached from his family and collegiate team.