Steelers Mock Draft 2023: Pittsburgh fills their biggest team needs

Steelers, Devon Witherspoon
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Steelers mock draft round 3: Safety J.L. Skinner

Safety – J.L. Skinner – Boise State – 6’-4” – 207 lbs - Skinner pops off the video and it’s not because he’s the tallest skinniest player in the secondary. His read and react time is almost instantaneous. He is almost always the first player to break toward the ball. He has experience at both strong and free safety but he could thrive in the box. I like this player so much if he’s available in 3rd Round but looks like he might get plucked by another team, I’d trade up to get him.

Skinner is a lot like Terrell Edmunds who the Steelers needlessly lost in free agency. He’s not great at any one thing but he’s good at a lot of things. He does well in coverage and against the run. He looks natural both in space and at the line of scrimmage. He can cover tight ends and make QBs regret throwing in his direction. He has long arms to whack away balls.

Skinner had a PFF grade of 74.7 overall, with 65.1 for run defense and 83.3 for coverage. He’s a true senior who began starting in sophomore year. He played 38 games total with 30 starting. Skinner finished with 208 tackles with 9.5 for a loss, 12 pass deflections, 7 interceptions, 3 fumble recoveries, and 2 forced fumbles for his career.

He didn’t compete at the Combine or Boise State’s Pro Day but NFL Draft Buzz has him down for a 4.55 forty. I don’t know if that’s correct but his play speed looks good. A Fitzpatrick-Skinner safety combo could be dynamic.