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NFL Draft INSIGHT: JL Skinner III would complete the Browns safety room

Browns NFL draft Round 3: New safeties coach Ephraim Banta will love this guy

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 01 Reese’s Senior Bowl Practice

The safety group last season was a disappointment for the Cleveland Browns. So, for this year, GM Andrew Berry has taken a good hard look and done something about this room.

The current safety room includes Grant Delpit, D’Anthony Bell, and Bubba Bolden who was on the practice squad last year. Ronnie Harrison Jr. is an unrestricted free agent while John Johnson III was released.

Then Berry jumped into the pool with both feet because that splash was felt when he signed Juan Thornhill who had just won his second Super Bowl ring with the Kansas City Chiefs.

DC Jim Schwartz likes to keep five safeties on his roster instead of the usual four. Newly-hired safeties coach Ephraim Banda will get this group into a menacing group that opposing offensive units are going to hate pretty quickly.

So, here’s a great young addition to this group that will smack heads Bosie State Broncos JL Skinner. Let’s be known for a defense that mandates opposing players take their time in the whirlpool after a game.

Banda’s defensive scheme is built on urgency, disruption, and physicality.

And “JL” doesn’t stand for anything. His official name is JL. When asked, he told The Athletic that his father and grandfather also went by “JL” thus him being the third.

S JL Skinner III

Draft projection: mid to late Round 3

Browns pick: #99 (their second pick in Round 3)


College: Boise State

Height: 6’-4”

Weight: 220 pounds

40-time: 4.55

Career Tackles: 208

Career Forced Fumbles: 2

Career Sacks: 0

Career Tackles for Loss: 9.5

Career Pass Defenses: 12

Career Interceptions: 7

Career starts: 38


  • Big body with long arms
  • Started 14 games as a freshman
  • Durable
  • 157 tackles in his final two seasons
  • Outstanding in run support
  • Great anticipation abilities on route breaks
  • Ball skills a plus
  • Excellent tackler with leverage
  • Seems to be around the ball
  • First Team All-Mountain West 2022, Second Team 2021
  • Senior Bowl invitee


  • Tall but lean
  • Has an issue shedding blocks with larger players
  • On occasion will take a bad angle where the pass finishes
  • Not the most agile athlete
  • Needs to run through contact more
  • Inconsistent effort at times
  • Tore a pec at the Combine

Expert Draft Site Analysis

Skinner is a long, fluid athlete with good change-of-direction skills and twitch for a player of his body type. He shows the ability to read, plant, and drive on the ball. He has a large tackling radius. Skinner will look to deliver a blow with his shoulder, but he does not bring his feet and run through the tackle, so too many ball carriers bounce off of him. His instincts and positioning are questionable. He is not an aggressive playmaker who flies to the ball. He’s susceptible to biting on a double move when he lines up in off-man coverage.