In high school, JL Skinner didn't work at safety.
The multi-sport athlete worked at cornerback and receiver, and he didn't move to the back end of the defense until he arrived at Boise State.
Denver's sixth-round draft pick, though, found his calling at safety.
"It was kind of hard to find a position at first," Skinner said Saturday, "but once I found safety, I fell in love with it and I knew it was for me ever since then."
Neither Skinner nor seventh-round pick Alex Forsyth settled in the positions at which they'd be drafted until college, and Forsyth's journey took him all around the offensive line at Oregon.
The 6-foot-3, 303-pound player worked at both tackle and guard during his first three seasons before he moved to center in 2020. There, he started 28 games over his final three seasons and earned first-team All-Pac 12 honors in 2022.
"I think my coaches in college early on, they really pushed me to play right tackle through left tackle pretty much, wherever I could be of service," Forsyth said Saturday. "I think that definitely helped elevate my game, the understanding of the offensive line and the offense [and] what we're trying to do. For me, it was kind of frustrating at first because it's kind of hard to master all those positions, but then once you start to figure it out, you start to appreciate it a lot more."
Similar to Skinner, Forsyth felt his skill set matched up well with the requirements of his eventual long-term position.
"It plays into my strengths because I think I'm a real cerebral player," Forsyth said after being drafted. "Just understanding the offense and the schemes — all that, for me, is really important. I think I have good leadership qualities, so I think that's kind of played into my strengths."
Both players will now look to transition to the next level and continue to grow in their respective positions.
Below the Fold
Skinner and Forsyth share more than when they found their positional homes. They were also both drafted later than experts projected, but they said Saturday they were glad to land where they did.
"This organization still believed in me after everything I've been through, especially this offseason [after suffering an injury]," Skinner said. "… I'm just grateful to be here. … All you need is a foot in the door, and I've got it."
Added Forsyth: "I knew it was out of my control. It was going to be what it was going to be. A lot of guys went before, [and it] just kind of put a chip on my shoulder. I'm in the right place, and I'm really excited to be here."