Run Defense

To begin with, Chinn is a technically excellent tackler, keeping his feet set well and engaging with his upper body before ripping the ball carrier to the ground:

 

The way he is able to close a lot of ground before steadying himself and making a secure tackle is especially valuable if he is going to be used in deep coverage a lot, where he will need to act as the security blanket for the rest of the defense against the run. 

While he wasn’t asked to stack and shed at the point of attack very much, he did show good gap discipline when playing around the line of scrimmage – even if the players around him didn’t:

 

While Chinn will need to show that he can consistently work off blocks if he is to spend a lot of time around the line of scrimmage in the NFL, all of what he was asked to do at Southern Illinois as a run defender he did well – and while pass coverage is where his biggest appeal is, his ability to be a plus run defender from day one will only help. 

The appeal with Chinn is similar to that of Isaiah Simmons, in that the best version of who he can be in the NFL is somebody who can play in the box, in the slot or in the deep middle; he can be a plus player in all three areas, giving the defense a huge amount of flexibility and allowing them to use him as a key matchup piece on a week-to-week basis.

However, like Simmons, he needs to continue to develop in the NFL if he is going to make the most of his talent – while Simmons is possibly slightly more pro-ready at this stage, it would be hard to say that Chinn couldn’t be just as good when all is said and done. For the Panthers, he gives then another versatile defensive piece to go with Juston Burris that should allow them to vary their structure of their defense without having to change personnel. 

 

Best-Case NFL Comparison: Derwin James

 

Vincent Richardson on Twitter
Vincent Richardson
Analyst at Riot Report
Astrochemist, bartender and jazz drummer; I also watch a lot of football. Areas of interest include play design, player evaluation and data-driven analytics. Twitter: @vrichardson444