J.L. Skinner from Boise state is a player the Chiefs should keep their eye on heading into draft season.
The Chiefs are going to see some changes in their defensive backroom heading into the offseason. It’s unlikely the Chiefs are going to re-sign safety Juan Thornhill. While Bryan Cook showed his skill set late in the year you need to replace the depth.
Skinner has spent time on the field during all four years of his college career. While he was not a starter as a freshman he did play in nine games. His role continued to expand as the years went on. In his junior and senior years, he was a full-time starter and made a big impact on the field.
One of his biggest assets is his coverage in the passing game. While he struggled in his junior year he excelled in coverage in his senior year.
It’s unlikely that Skinner goes in the first round as the draft has more sought-after prospects. He could be a good player to snag up with their second-round pick.
Skinner is a bigger player. Currently, the biggest safety on the Chiefs roster is Justin Reid. Reid is 6-1 and 207. Skinner is 6-4 and weighs in at 220. With a passing league that continues to draft larger wide receivers getting bigger at the safety position is a necessity.
While playing at Boise State he was constantly put in the position to cover opposing wide receivers. Skinner is already competent in pass coverage. He has the ability to jump routes and get interceptions. Last season Skinner ended the year with four picks.
His skill set fits well in Kansas City. While the Chiefs have not openly talked about moving on or trading L’jarius Sneed he could be his replacement next year. Most of Sneed’s college experience comes from playing safety. He only started to play corner in his last college season. Skinner could play in the role of slot corner blitzes, covering tight ends, running backs, and the other roles that come with playing in-the-box safety.
During the Brett Veach era, Kansas City has drafted looking, not just for team needs for the next season but for the following season. With the abundance of picks spending one on adding depth in the safety room would be another example of that.
Skinner is not afraid of contact and has multiple pass breakups because he was able to get a hit on a receiver. He truly could be an impact player without spending a first-round pick. If he falls to pick 63 Kansas City could get the safety of the future.