Name: Kyle Peko
Height: 6’1" Weight: 305 lbs
Age: 23 Experience: 2nd
College: Oregon State
Kyle Peko, or “little Peko” as teammates call him now that his older cousin, Domato, joined the team, made the roster out of training camp last year as an undrafted free agent.
In September, he was waived and picked up on the practice squad two days later. He would stay there the rest of the season until December 28th when he was called up for the final regular season game against the Raiders.
Now Peko is looking at another battle to make the roster and potentially back up his cousin at nose tackle.
Peko did not get a lot of playing time last year, but he flashed enough in training camp and pre-season enough to make the final 53 as an undrafted free agent.
When he finally got on the field in the final game against the Raiders, he made the most of it, notching two solo tackles.
Above is a clip from that game where he made a key stop while fighting a double team. If you notice, he was initially beat by the double team, but kept fighting through and eventually closed a wide open B-gap to stop the runner for a minimal gain. If Peko gets swallowed by the double on that play, it likely goes for a big gain.
Peko is quick, explosive, and tough which are all good fits within this scheme.
Lack of a position, and being undersized are the two biggest weaknesses for Kyle Peko. The size plays into the fact that he’s not really a natural position fit as a nose tackle, but he’s not much of a pass rusher, either. So he needs to work on his technique and continue to hone his skills to try and find a niche somewhere along the defensive line.
Kyle Peko was favorite to make team as backup nosetackle to his cousin Domata Peko. Still could but tougher challenge. #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) June 13, 2017
Lastly, he sustained a broken bone in his foot during OTAs so we will see how quickly he is able to contribute once training camp rolls around. He’s going to need every snap he can get to show the coaches he deserves to stay.
“It’s really cool having my little cousin here, Kyle. It’s been a blessing. That really helped out, especially making my decision in free agency. Having someone here that’s my family, someone that I’m familiar with, it’s been great. We’re sharpening each other up every day, trying to improve each other, challenge and compete with each other. It’s been a blessing.... Kyle is a great kid. He’s really athletic and strong, and he’s been holding it down over here. I’m blessed to work with him.” - Domato Peko
I like Kyle and hope he can make the final roster, but I think he has a longer shot this year then he did last year just due to the improved depth on the D-line. Big Peko is the starter at NT, and I am betting Kerr ends up playing some NT as well.
After them it’s between UDFA, Tyrique Jarrett, and Kyle Peko for that last interior d-line spot. Jarrett is more of a prototypical massive bodied nose tackle, so it will be an interesting battle in camp and may depend on which style of player the coaches favor more.