2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: J.L. Skinner III (DB – Boise State)
As the NFL season winds down, FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL draft scouting reports before the combine in March. Here’s a look at JL Skinner III.
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2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: JL Skinner III (DB – Boise State)
JL Skinner III (DB – Boise State)
6’4″ – 220 lbs.
Played 89 snaps as a freshman, recording 14 tackles and three breakups, then started all six of the Broncos’ games in the shortened 2020 season, finishing with 37 tackles, one interception, and one breakup. Had 92 tackles (seven for loss), two interceptions, and three breakups in 2021 (along with two forced fumbles), then 65 tackles, four interceptions, and five breakups this past year.
Productive three-year starter with extensive experience in the box (811 snaps), at free safety (623), and in the slot (336); during the games reviewed, was typically in a robber role or shaded over an opposing slot receiver, several yards off the line of scrimmage. Has rare size and length for a pro safety. Smooth athlete with solid straight-line speed. Plays with patience and doesn’t get caught out of position often. Diagnoses well from high coverage, closing reasonably fast to deliver hits or make quick tackles on throws underneath; doesn’t have wasted motion in his transitions. Appears comfortable reading route combinations from zone. Uses his hands to feel routes developing. On-ball production has been solid the past two years. Takes cautious angles to the ball in run support. Does a nice job of keeping his shoulders square in the box. Generally gets solid extension when playing off blocks. Length gives him an impressive tackling radius, and has been a pretty reliable tackler throughout his career (missing just 12.5% of total attempts). Does a nice job of breaking down in the open field.
Has a thin, wiry build. Plays upright with minimal bend. Wasn’t asked to backpedal much or play in single-high during the games reviewed, and has a high stance; usually in more of a robber role. Can be a little flat-footed when shaded over the slot; could be susceptible to sitting on double-moves. Gets pulled up by play-action. Functional strength to take on blocks is closer to adequate. Not the most physical player in run support. Didn’t see him manned up on opposing tight ends, although he has the frame for it.
A very tall, lanky, and wiry defensive back who was predominantly playing in a robber role during the games reviewed, showing solid
instincts and playing the game with patience and discipline. Lack of snaps in traditional single-high and Cover-2 zones complicates his evaluation, but did what he was asked effectively in college, showing pretty reliable tackling and reading route combinations well in zone coverage. Would fit best on a team with a more conservative approach, probably as a box safety or big nickel.
Projection: Round 3
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