The safety position is one that the Buffalo Bills are going to be heavily invested in this week at the NFL Combine. The team has Jordan Poyer set to be a free agent, Micah Hyde coming back from neck surgery and it remains to be seen if Damar Hamlin will be able to return to the NFL.
One of the safety prospects that likely was going to be high on the Bills’ draft board was JL Skinner out of Boise State. Unfortunately, the team won’t be able to see him work out in Indianapolis as it was reported by Mike Garafolo with the NFL Network on Monday that he suffered a torn pec last week.
The former Boise State safety confirmed the injury in a tweet of his own.
JL Skinner could be a Day 2 option for the Buffalo Bills in 2023 NFL Draft
The injury shouldn’t change much for the Buffalo Bills and JL Skinner is a player that should still be a top option on the second day of the 2023 NFL Draft. JL Skinner played in 38 games over four seasons at Boise State and had 208 total tackles, 9.5 tackles for a loss, seven interceptions and 12 passes defended.
The scouting report on The Draft Network describes a player who is a big safety that can really make an impact in the box and closer to the line of scrimmage:
"Skinner hops off the bus and garners attention off sheer size alone. He has stated that Kam Chancellor is his favorite safety of all time and he studies his game. Skinner could fill a similar robber/low-hole strong safety role in a Cover 3 defense. He is not an ideal candidate for single-high safety alignments. To get the most out of Skinner, a defensive coordinator must put him in advantageous situations to impact both run and pass games."
One of the reasons that the duo of Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde have been so successful over the years is that both are well-rounded and it helps the Bills disguise coverage. If the Buffalo Bills were to draft Skinner, the defensive staff would likely need to give more traditional roles to the safeties.
This is not necessarily a bad thing as Hyde is better in coverage and playing that deep safety. It also gives the defense some size, which is something they are sometimes lacking with how much they play in the nickel defense.
The Buffalo Bills certainly will have options if they need to replace Jordan Poyer and JL Skinner should be one of them.