In the offseason, Denver never addressed the position until the NFL Draft where they drafted JL Skinner in the sixth-round from Boise St.
According to Mike Klis of 9News, Skinner might not be ready for the start of the regular season because he, “has a torn pec that he’s mending from, so he probably won’t be ready for the start of the season.”
Skinner suffered the torn pec during a workout back in February forcing him to miss the NFL Scouting Combine.
Chad Reuter of NFL.com considered Skinner a third or fourth-round pick and compared him to current Browns safety Ronnie Harrison.
“Interchangeable safety with above average run support talent and the versatility for multiple coverages. Skinner plays with good awareness to routes with eyes for short zone and the instincts to play over the top. He can line up over pass-catching tight ends and has the ball skills to make quarterbacks pay for off-target throws. He has good feet but hips that can be a little sticky when flipping to run with vertical routes. His agility and range help him as a tackle collector in the open field. Skinner should become an above average starter within a couple of seasons,” Reuter said in his breakdown of the new Bronco.
What About Caden Sterns?
According to James Palmer of the NFL Network, the Broncos have big plans for Caden Sterns as he enters his third season in the NFL.
“Vance Joseph (defensive coordinator) and his staff love this guy,” Palmer said. “He is versatile, he is extremely intelligent, he’s got excellent ball skills. They have big big plans, I am told, for Caden Sterns back there with Pat Surtain and Justin Simmons.”
Sterns has only started in five games for the Broncos, but has made plays when he’s been on the field. Over the past two seasons, Sterns ranks third behind only Simmons and Surtain in interceptions with four.
The former Texas Longhorn has sacked the quarterbacks twice in his career and has totaled up 49 tackles including two for a loss.
Despite having all of the hype, According to Mike Klis of 9News that Sterns might not be ready when training camp opens.
“Caden Sterns, who some people think should be there is coming off hip surgery and as I understand it, he may not be quite ready for training camp.” Klis continued, “He may start the first week of training camp on the PUP list.”
Broncos Could Bring Back a Familiar Face
Since Denver’s top two options at the strong safety position are injured, Denver could bring back Jackson on another one-year deal.
“They have a standing offer to Kareem, but it’s one that he obviously doesn’t like, they haven’t reached an agreement,” Klis said.
Jackson, 35, also has a connection to Broncos defensive coordinator Vance Joseph dating back to their time together in Houston.
Joseph was the Texans’ defensive backs coach from 2011-2013 while Jackson was playing in years two through four in the red and blue.
During his four years in Denver, Jackson has remained healthy, missing just five games. The former first-round pick also has four interceptions and has been a monster in the running game with eight tackles for a loss. Combining for 342 tackles, Jackson has also knocked down 19 passes from the safety position.