A very merry Draftmas to you! We continue our tradition of profiling an NFL Draft prospect every day in April, leading up to the NFL Draft on April 23rd. Every day, you’ll get a prospect profile that includes how they would fit with the Kansas City Chiefs.
With the Chiefs likely looking for cornerbacks and linebacker in the 2020 draft, safeties seem like a lower priority. But a player that could line up anywhere in the secondary and play on the second level? That’s an outside-the-box draft pick the Chiefs could make.
Jeremy Chinn, Safety
6’3” | 221lbs | Southern Illinois
Expected Draft Range: Day two
Combine: 4.45 second 40-yard dash, 20 bench press reps, 41” vertical jump, 138” broad jump
2018 Stats: 71 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 4 interceptions and 7 pass breakups
One-sentence bio: Lightly recruited safety out of high school that was a perennial All-MVFC and All-MVFC All-Academic player as a four year starter before becoming a second-team All-American in 2019.
One-sentence scouting report: Top-notch athlete with fantastic size that can play as a deep safety or in the box — and line up in the slot in man coverage.
Wild interception by Jeremy Chinn— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) March 5, 2020
When I get back from the Combine, I’m usually rewatching guys I felt I was too low on... But I’m watching Jeremy Chinn again because I felt I was too high!
And I think I like him even more! Hah pic.twitter.com/Wvj41c45Qj
How he fits in Kansas City: Chinn’s ability to line up in multiple spots in Chiefs sub-packages make him an ideal candidate for Steve Spagnuolo’s defense — even if safety doesn’t appear to be a position of need. Chinn could line up in the slot or as a deep safety, filling in the role left by Kendall Fuller.
In nickel and dime defenses, Chinn has the size and ability to play at the second level as a linebacker. His abilities in man coverage could give the Chiefs an element they don’t currently have at that level — while still giving them a bigger body in the box. Having a dynamic hybrid weapon like Chinn in sub-packages — almost 75% of the defensive snaps — may even make it palatable for Spagnuolo to miss out on the top-tier linebackers .
Chinn also offers deep-safety insurance the Chiefs are currently lack. He has the range and football IQ to be a competent single-high safety backup for Juan Thornhill. He can also kick down into the slot in man coverage against tight ends and bigger slot receivers, allowing Spagnuolo a versatile coverage defender for his exotic rotations and blitz packages.
In 2019, the Chiefs struggled to find a cornerback they liked in the slot, finally choosing to utilize Tyrann Mathieu there. Spagnuolo may prefer to keep Mathieu in the slot and bring in bigger dime personnel — around 30% of the 2019 Chiefs snaps — with Thornhill, Daniel Sorensen and Chinn alongside the two boundary cornerbacks.
Chinn may cost an early pick, but his ability to play all over Spagnuolo’s defense — creating an “amoebic secondary” — could make him a valuable piece in the team’s defensive scheme.
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