In February, when Boise State safety JK Skinner was preparing for the NFL Scouting Combine, he, unfortunately, ended up tearing his pectoral muscle while training. This injury would sideline him for months and stop him from working out for teams prior to the draft. Before this injury, he was viewed as a potential day-two selection in the draft, but after the injury, he slid all the way to the sixth round of the draft. This is where the Denver Broncos selected him with their 183rd overall selection.
During OTA’s and minicamp practices, Skinner participated in drills but was held out of team drills, but that appears to be changing once camp starts. According to 9NEWS Denver’s Mike Klis, Skinner is on track to avoid the training camp PUP designation and be medically cleared for the start of camp.
Klis continued by saying that it would be a surprise if the sixth-round rookie did not end up making the final 53-man roster.
New head coach Sean Payton likes size and he got it big-time in the sixth round. Skinner missed the 11 on 11 team portion of OTAs because of injury but he participated in all other drills and figures to become a special teams contributor and safety reserve in year one. While it's not unusual for sixth-round draft picks to start the season on the practice squad, it would be a surprise if Skinner didn’t make the 53-man, season-opening roster.
Skinner is a big safety at 6-4 and is listed at 220 pounds. He has good movement skills, good coverage ability, and can tackle pretty well too. These traits and his likely ability to contribute to special teams are why he is expected to earn a roster spot. Justin Simmons is your starter with Caden Sterns and Kareem Jackson figuring out who the other starter will be. P.J. Locke is expected to make the team and serve as depth and contribute on special teams. That leaves that final spot for Skinner, who could quickly rise up the depth chart if he has a strong camp and preseason.
As I said, he most likely would have gone on day two of the draft, or at least in the third or fourth-round area if healthy, so the Broncos got themselves a steal here. It is good to see that Skinner is trending the right way and hopefully, he can have a breakout camp and preseason for the Broncos and turn into an instant contributor for this team during his rookie year.