7 Terrell Edmunds replacement options for Steelers in the 2023 NFL Draft

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6. JL Skinner, 6’3”, 209, Boise State

JL Skinner is an outlier on this list, given that he played for the Boise State Broncos in the Mountain West. The Steelers have not drafted a player from the Mountain West Conference since linebacker Chris Carter in 2011. But Skinner isn’t your typical Mountain West defensive back. He was listed as 6’4” and 220 pounds at Boise State. He intercepted more passes every year he played, recording four in 2022. Skinner spent the vast majority of his snaps playing in the box and is very willing to lay the lumber in run defense. 

Unfortunately, Skinner has had a difficult time preparing for the draft. He practiced at the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, but had to leave early due to a death in his family. A few weeks later while preparing for the NFL Scouting Combine, he suffered a torn pectoral which prevented him from testing. Boise State’s Pro Day is on April 11, so if Skinner is healthy enough to test by then, that could significantly affect his draft stock. 

Regardless, Skinner could be a high-upside selection for the Steelers in the second or third round. He will probably need some time to adjust to the speed of the NFL, on top of the time to recover from his injury. Given what the Steelers are looking for in their defensive backs and what they would ask Skinner to do in their defense, there is a world where his career follows a similar arc to the last “small school” defensive prospect the Steelers drafted in the earlier rounds: Alex Highsmith.