In all likelihood this weekend, Boise State will have a player taken in the NFL Draft for the 14th-straight year.
It is a near certainty that safety JL Skinner will be the Broncos’ 42nd draft pick since 2000. For the last four years, the San Diego native has established himself as one of the hardest-hitting safeties in the Mountain West, the type of long, versatile defensive back that NFL coaches love to mold.
Over the past two seasons, Skinner has been the leader of Boise State’s defense, racking up a combined 157 tackles and six interceptions.
Wrote The Draft Network on the 6-foot-4, 209-pound safety: “Skinner is a physically-imposing defender. He has a rare frame and builds at the safety position. ... To get the most out of Skinner, a defensive coordinator must put him in advantageous situations to impact both run and pass games.”
While Skinner will likely be the highest-drafted Bronco, there is a chance a few other former Boise State stars hear their name called.
In draft expert Dane Brugler’s seven-round mock draft on The Athletic, he has Skinner projected to go in the fifth round — just 30 picks ahead of BSU defensive tackle Scott Matlock (No. 168 to the Arizona Cardinals) and a round before BSU offensive lineman John Ojukwu (No. 194 to the Detroit Lions).
A number of other mock drafts, though, have Skinner being the lone Bronco to be drafted.
And while he was invited to the NFL Combine, Skinner tore his pec while bench pressing in the days leading up, missing out on both the combine and pro day. Teams are now forced to only rely on his college film and interviews. In other words, Skinner hasn’t been able to help his stock much in the last month.
Perhaps that’s why there seems to be no real consensus on where Skinner will land in the draft.
Same was true of the Broncos’ lone draft pick last year, wide receiver Khalil Shakir. There were some folks that figured he’d be a second-round pick, perhaps third round at worst. Instead, Shakir fell to the Buffalo Bills in the fifth round.
At the moment, most mock drafts have Skinner anywhere from the late second round to the fifth round. Here’s where a number of outlets see the Boise State safety landing.
Blue Turf Sports is an editorial product of the Idaho Press and its sports staff. We are not affliated with, nor endorsed by the Boise State University nor it's athletic division. Boise State, the Broncos, the Boise State logos, and all associated logos, school colors, designs and indicia are the intellectual property of Boise State University. Boise State and the Boise State and Bronco logos are the registered and unregistered trademarks of Boise State University. All rights are reserved worldwide. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Boise State University has granted permission to Blue Turf Sports.