Denver Broncos land an absolute steal in JL Skinner with 6th-round pick

UT Martin v Boise State
UT Martin v Boise State / Loren Orr/GettyImages

The Denver Broncos had to wait until the sixth round to finally make a pick, but they definitely made it count when they were finally on the clock. With the 183rd pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos added former Boise State safety JL Skinner, a projected top-100 pick by some outlets leading up to the draft.

Skinner unfortunately suffered a pectoral injury while training for the NFL Draft in February, and wasn't able to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine as a result of that. He checked in at just under 6-foot-4, 209 pounds, and you feel every bit of that long frame when he's out there roaming around the field in that no. 0 uniform.

Here's what's Lance Zierlein had to say about him:

"Interchangeable safety with above average run support talent and the versatility for multiple coverages. Skinner plays with good awareness to routes with eyes for short zone and the instincts to play over the top. He can line up over pass-catching tight ends and has the ball skills to make quarterbacks pay for off-target throws. He has good feet but hips that can be a little sticky when flipping to run with vertical routes. His agility and range help him as a tackle collector in the open field. Skinner should become an above average starter within a couple of seasons."

Lance Zierlein,

Skinner was projected to go in the 3rd-4th round prior to the injury that caused him to miss the Pro Day circuit and obviously, teams that liked his tape weren't comfortable enough with his recovery timeframe to take him in that same range. The Broncos didn't have any picks in rounds 4-5 so who knows where they had him slotted, but they had a chance to snag him with that high 6th-rounder and they didn't hesitate.

One really interesting note about this selection for the Broncos? In three consecutive drafts to open up his tenure with the team, general manager George Paton has used multiple selections on defensive backs. In the 2021 NFL Draft, he took four: Pat Surtain II, Caden Sterns, Jamar Johnson, and Kary Vincent Jr.

In the 2022 NFL Draft, he took another trio: Damarri Mathis, Delarrin Turner-Yell, and Faion Hicks.

Now in the 2023 NFL Draft, he's taken Riley Moss and JL Skinner. In a league where the quarterback is so protected, having guys who can cover a lot of ground and even play multiple positions defensively is critical. The Broncos seem to have gotten one of those types of players here in Skinner, someone whose frame, range, and athleticism will allow him to float around the formation, attack the line of scrimmage, matchup with certain players, and make plays.

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