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Broncos roster review: safety JL Skinner

The former Boise State Bronco should serve as a valuable asset for this Denver Broncos defense.

AP Photo/Steve Conner

Drafted in the 6th round of this year’s draft, JL Skinner looks to show why he was considered one of the better defensive back prospects in the draft, and why he should have been drafted higher.

It didn’t take long for the San Diego native to see action on the collegiate field, starting 14 games as a true freshman for the Boise State Broncos in 2019. He would finish the year with 14 tackles and three passed breakups. He would make his big jump in the 2021 season as he earned Mountain West 2nd-team All-Conference honors after racking up 92 tackles (seven for loss), two interceptions, three pass breakups, and two forced fumbles.

He was not able to participate in the 2023 NFL Draft Combine due to a torn pec injury, suffered while preparing for the bench press before the event. He is now healthy, and this likely worked in the Denver Broncos favor; allowing for him to drop as much as he did in the draft.

Player Profile

Height: 6’4” | Weight: 209 pounds | Age: 22 years old

40-yard dash: 4.55 seconds

Hands: 8 1/4 inches

Arm: 32 inches

Wingspan: 77 7/8 inches

2022 Statistics (Boise St.)

62 tackles | 4 interceptions | 5 pass breakups

2022 Mountain West 1st-team All-Conference

2023 Outlook

Skinner is a dynamic safety that is able to use his abnormal size, paired with his incredible athletic ability, to cover large portions of the field. His instincts to play over-the-top defense are rivaled by few in his draft class. Opposing quarterbacks consistently have to pay for errant passes.

It is this same athletic ability that also bolsters his open-field tackling talent. There is a reason why he averaged over five tackles a game over the course of his collegiate career.

And one of the things that Bronco fans everywhere should be excited about, and might be the most important asset of this rookie, is Skinner’s ability to line up over pass-catching tight ends. The team’s hopes of limiting Travis Kelce are on the rise.

Final Thoughts

Denver was able to snag Skinner at a spot in the draft that is not even close to a fair representation of the talent that he will bring to the NFL field. The Broncos at the least have a strong backup for their secondary, but I think that they likely have a guy that will earn his way into a second contract.

The ceiling is a safety that will make AFC West quarterbacks fear him for years to come.