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Carolina Panthers

Get to know second-round draft pick Jeremy Chinn


The Panthers spent their first two picks of the 2020 NFL Draft on the defensive line, but with their third pick, they turned to the secondary by drafting safety Jeremy Chinn.

Chinn spent the last four years dominating at Southern Illinois, where he totaled 243 career tackles, 13 interceptions, 31 passes defensed and six forced fumbles.

Now before Chinn hits the field in Carolina, get to know the Panthers' third-round draft pick.

Under the radar

Playing at an FCS school, Chinn obviously didn't get as much attention as players at bigger programs. But he sure made a name for himself at SIU, earning back-to-back First-Team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference honors, as well as consensus All-American honors as a senior.

"I was definitely a late bloomer," Chinn said in an interview with CBS Sports. "In high school I was one of the smaller guys going in, but probably by my junior and senior years I started to fill out a little bit. But it really took me all the way through college to continue to grow and grow, and I've just kept on growing."

That slow maturation worked out for the 6-foot-3, 220-pounder, who became the highest-drafted Saluki since 1984.

A family affair

It turns out playing safety runs in the family. 

With a Hall of Famer for an uncle, Chinn was able to get the inside scoop on playing defensive back early on. Chinn is the nephew of Broncos legend Steve Atwater, a two-time Super Bowl champion and eight-time Pro Bowler with the Broncos.

Position flexibility

During his time at Southern Illinois, Chinn played a little bit of everything: cornerback, nickel, and primarily, safety. That versatility is one of the reasons he was so appealing to the Panthers.

Chinn has the size of a linebacker, but his 4.45-second 40-yard dash at the Combine really opened eyes. Add in a 41-inch vertical jump and an 11'6" broad jump and that's a level of athleticism not many players have.

With a rare blend of size and speed and power, Chinn will fit right in with head coach Matt Rhule's vision of "positionless players."

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