High School and College Career
JL Skinner from Point Loma High School and was rated as a 4-star prospect prior to joining Boise State. As a freshman in 2019, Skinner played in 9 games and saw action for a total of 89 snaps at safety for the Broncos. He recorded 5 tackles and 2 pass breakups in coverage, with no interceptions and a QB rating when targeted of 106.8.
The following year, as a sophomore in 2020, Skinner played in 6 games and logged 402 snaps for the Broncos. During this time, he made 31 tackles, one pass breakup, one interception, and a QB rating when targeted of 105.6.
In his junior season in 2021, Skinner played in 12 games for 716 snaps and made 72 tackles, forced 4 pass breakups, snagged 2 interceptions, and gave up a QB rating when targeted of 91.8.
Finally, in 2022, Skinner played in 12 games as a senior and logged 618 snaps. He finished with 52 tackles, 2 pass breakups, and an impressive 4 interceptions. He gave up an outstanding QB rating when targeted of just 37.8.
J.L. Skinner Scouting Report Introduction
JL Skinner, the starting safety for the Boise State Broncos, is a physically impressive player that has built a reputation as a tone-setter and leader on the team. One of Skinner’s most impressive attributes is his straight-line speed, which he demonstrated by clocking a personal record of 11.30 in the 100-meter dash in high school. This ability to cover ground quickly is essential for a safety, who must be able to cover large areas of the field while also being physical enough to make tackles on running backs and receivers alike.
As a coverage defender, Skinner’s best work is done working downhill as a low-hole safety or robber. In zone coverages, Skinner is able to sit and squat on underneath routes, reading the quarterback’s eyes and making a quick break on the ball if the pass is thrown. When playing man-to-man, he is better suited to covering tight ends, as he lacks the footspeed to keep up with faster, more agile receivers. Skinner’s ability to read the game from multiple levels allows him to track the ball and get to the spot with urgency, making him a valuable asset to the defense.
In addition to his coverage skills, Skinner is an effective run defender. He is a physical striker who is not afraid to take on ball carriers head-on. Skinner’s ability to read the game allows him to locate the football and make plays on it, using his arm length to stack blocks, peek, and shed in order to find the ball and make a play.
Despite his impressive physical attributes, Skinner does face some challenges on the field. His aggressive playstyle sometimes leads him to be impatient when diagnosing play concepts, which can result in him playing fewer snaps at free safety and deeper in the box. Additionally, Skinner’s long legs and high hips can lead to some transitional stiffness when changing directions.
When playing with his back to the line of scrimmage, he demonstrates a knack for quickly getting his head around and being aware of his surroundings. This awareness helps him cover quickness underneath and react quickly to potential offensive plays. Additionally, Skinner maintains a level of balance and patience in open space that allows him to read and react quickly to any situation that arises.
Although he may not be the fastest player on the field, Skinner is quicker than he is fast, giving him a burst that is particularly useful in zone coverage. Moreover, he is not afraid to play physical at the line in man-to-man coverage, making him a versatile asset for any team.
Skinner also has enough speed and fluidity to allow him to come down and defend against slot receivers and even certain tight ends in man coverage. This versatility is particularly valuable in today’s NFL, where offenses constantly evolve and find new ways to exploit the weaknesses of opposing defenses.
After reviewing the performance of J.L. Skinner, it appears that some areas need improvement in his game as a football player. One such area is his understanding of route combinations and overall vision on the field. A sophisticated knowledge of the various route combinations commonly used by offensive teams and the ability to anticipate potential outcomes can immensely benefit a defensive player in positioning themselves to make successful plays. However, Skinner falls short in this particular aspect, and could benefit from dedicated training to enhance his knowledge of the game and develop better instincts in anticipating the moves of the offense.
Another area of weakness is highlighted by Skinner’s inconsistency in getting off of blocks. Getting off of blocks is an essential skill that allows defensive players to break free from opposing offensive players and make successful plays on the ball.
Finally, it appears that Skinner can be slow to react when a quarterback returns to his side of the field late in the progression. This delay could be attributed to a lack of awareness or a slow response time to shifting movements on the field. However, this weakness can be counteracted through regular game analysis that focuses on improving Skinner’s recognition and reaction times when the ball is in play.
J.L. Skinner is our 185th prospect on our draft big board.