Jeremy Chinn finished second in voting for the defensive rookie of the year award in 2020 and his versatility played a big role in that result.
Chinn explained on SiriusXM NFL Radio that he didn’t have a clearly defined position when he spoke to defensive coordinator Phil Snow after being drafted with the final pick of the second round. Chinn said Snow did divulge the team’s “plans on me starting early” and that was enough for the rookie to come in with an open mind about anything Snow might ask him to do.
“He really didn’t have a position for me, whether it be linebacker or safety,” Chinn said. “He actually kinda had like a flex position. You’re gonna have to learn this position. I was like, ‘Alright, whatever it is I’ll be ready for it.’ I come in and they actually play me at SAM linebacker primarily, I moved back to safety as well throughout the season. Really I just came in with a mindset that you can use me wherever as long as you’re using me.”
Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said that the plan is for Chinn to play safety this year, but added that Chinn “can fill a lot of different roles” so any definition of his primary position may continue to be a loose one.