The NFL Draft is just around the corner, and teams everywhere are scouring prospects hoping to create the best team they possibly can. Southern Illinois safety Jeremy Chinn is a late riser in the draft process, as multiple reports indicate that the athletic hybrid could come off the board early on Day 2. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the teams that could take him, and how he’d fit into those defenses.
Jeremy Chinn: 2020 NFL Draft Team Fits
Jeremy Chinn the Player [NFL Draft Profile]
Based on raw athletic talent alone, Jeremy Chinn could be as good as any safety in this class. The Southern Illinois product lit up the NFL Combine with one of the best performances from anyone, regardless of position. Theoretically, he could line up as both safety and linebacker and provide the versatility of a poor mans’ Isaiah Simmons. He has fantastic straight-line speed when pursuing ball carriers and can track down just about any play, regardless of where he starts on the field.
Chinn possesses fantastic upside, but he also carries a lot of risk. The Southern Illinois product is anything but a natural at the position, as he’s constantly late to diagnose plays. Even with his great speed, he’s typically a step late to make a play on the ball. Additionally, he didn’t face the best competition in college and reportedly had a terrible week of practice at the Senior Bowl. This implies that he’s going to struggle to adjust to NFL competition. Ultimately, Chinn is a high-risk, high-reward type of prospect that can either make or break a draft class.
The Cowboys have perpetually needed a safety for the better part of a decade. After ignoring the position for the past few years and letting Byron Jones walk in free agency, Dallas has to invest considerable draft capital in the safety position. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Xavier Woods are fine short-term fixes, but Chinn offers some valuable long-term upside. The best scenario for Chinn is to spent 2020 behind the two veterans before fighting for a starting job in 2021.
New England Patriots
The New England Patriots don’t have an immediate need at safety but will need one in the not-too-distant future. Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung are both getting up there in age, and Bill Belichick is one of the best at planning ahead. Chinn should start his career on the bench, and there’s nobody better than Belichick to teach him the subtleties of the position. The Patriots recently tried to do something similar with athletic phenomenon Obi Melifonwu, but it didn’t work out. Perhaps that failed experiment could scare the Patriots away from trying the same thing with Chinn, or perhaps Belichick decides to the roll the dice a second time.
The Dolphins addressed their cornerback position by pairing Byron Jones with Xavien Howard. They should have one of the best cornerback duos in the league, but the safety position could still use some improvement. Following the release of Reshad Jones, the Dolphins don’t have anyone reliable at either free or strong safety. Chinn has a similar skill set to former Miami Dolphin Minkah Fitzpatrick, although he’s not nearly as polished. The defensive-minded Brian Flores would probably love to try to mold somebody like Chinn into the next swiss army knife on his defense.
Adding Darius Slay helps, but the Eagles still have a long way to go if they’re to fix their secondary. The duo of Jalen Mills and Rodney McLeod leaves something to be desired, but it’s not the worst thing in the world if they start in Week 1. Seeing as Chinn will probably need time to develop, Philadelphia could be a perfect fit. Mills and McLeod could hold down starting jobs until Chinn is ready to start, at which point the secondary could receive a massive boost.
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