In continuing our summer football coverage, we are counting down Northwestern’s Top 10 most important players in 2022. We’ve created a composite averaging the rankings of each of our staffer’s respective lists, revealing who we believe to be the most crucial to the Wildcat’s upcoming success.
However, we know that is up for interpretation. For some, it could mean the value of one player over his backup. It could mean players in crucial roles. It could also mean players who have underperformed and need to step up.
Only one thing is known: no two lists from our staff members are the same. That’s why for each player, we’ll have at least one member break down their placement for the aforementioned player.
Ignacio Dowling (3)
For all the struggles Northwestern’s passing offense went through last season, they would have multiplied tenfold if Peter Skoronski hadn’t excelled as a blindside protector. That statement should hold true this year. The ‘Cats don’t have a proven quarterback, and the receiving core has to compensate for the loss of Stephon Robinson Jr. That leaves Skoronski — a projected All-American and NFL first-round draft pick — as Northwestern’s most talented player contributing to its aerial attack.
The star left tackle’s impact only starts there. With Cam Porter now healthy, the running back room will be more explosive than it was in 2021. Skoronski’s prowess as a lead blocker on the outside could help the ‘Cats break off more big plays and move the chains with greater efficiency. He is the only lineman on the team versatile enough to substantially benefit every play.
I ranked him at number three because I’m a firm believer in the idea that the quarterback is almost always the most important piece on an offense. I also think that the top two players should come from different units. But, that doesn’t change the fact that Skoronski is Northwestern’s best player. Any success the ‘Cats enjoy will start with him.