Broncos like JL Skinner’s size and physicality at safety

The Denver Broncos might have found a sixth-round gem in Boise State safety JL Skinner during last month’s NFL draft.

Some pre-draft projections had Skinner going off the board as early as the third round, but Skinner’s stock fell after he tore a pectoral muscle this spring.

“We liked him throughout the process,” general manager George Paton said after the draft. “The first thing you see is the size. He’s almost 6-4. Then the athletic ability for that size. We thought was unique. The short-area quickness, the range and you see the ball skills on tape. The thing that really sticks out is his physicality and playing downhill the run game. You see that all over the tape. He’s a fun watch.”

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The Broncos believe Skinner’s pec injury was part of the reason the safety was available in the sixth round.

“Sean [Payton] and I have watched a lot of tape on him, and he’s a fun watch,” Paton said. “I think the injury did impact where he was drafted. We felt very fortunate to get him where we did.”

Playing for college football’s Broncos, Skinner totaled 65 tackles, five pass breakups and four interceptions in 12 games last fall. He is unlikely to start as a rookie given Denver’s depth at safety, but Skinner projects as an eventual starting-caliber safety for the Broncos.

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Story originally appeared on Broncos Wire