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Panthers select S Jeremy Chinn in second round


Many thought the Panthers would take versatile defender Isaiah Simmons with their first pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. Instead, they excitedly chose defensive tackle Derrick Brown, and a night later, they ended up getting a player very much like Simmons.

Carolina on Friday moved up six spots to select safety Jeremy Chinn out of Southern Illinois at No. 64 overall in the second round. To trade up to that slot, the Panthers sent their 69th overall choice in the third round and No. 148 in the fifth round to the Seahawks.

"Coming into a program that believes in me, to get a guy like me, is definitely I'm excited about," Chinn said. "For them to take a chance on me, Carolina's going to get everything out of me."

Chinn was a kind of wild card in the Salukis' scheme, a tremendous athlete who played both safety and cornerback. He was a two-time first-team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference honoree and was a consensus All-American in 2019.

With the Panthers, Chinn will play safety and a number of roles in nickel packages.

"It's been very open-ended as far what I'll be playing — safety to being able to cover tight ends and running backs and I also have experience with receivers as well. As far as position, it's not something that I'm locked into," Chinn said.

"I'm someone who's always going to be around the football. Wherever the football is, I'm going to get there. You'll see me running all around the field when you turn on the tape. I can run with anybody."

When asked who he models his game after, Chinn offered names like Minnesota's Harrison Smith, Pittsburgh's Minkah Fitzpatrick, Baltimore's Earl Thomas and Kansas City's Tyrann Mathieu.

Friday night was another step in what's been a remarkable rise for Chinn, who was lightly recruited out of Fishers, IN.

"It's a complete [180] being the zero star, zero FBS offers, to coming up and being traded up for in the second round," he said. "It's definitely a dream come true and it's only just the beginning."

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