The Panthers plan to move Jeremy Chinn to safety full time after his standout rookie season at linebacker. At 220 pounds, Chinn is undersized for a linebacker.
“Obviously he would be a big safety, and he would be able to cover tight ends,” Panthers coach Matt Rhule said, via Steve Reed of the Associated Press. “He can go fit the run, too. It’s rare to have a guy that big, with that size and that intelligence level. He’s one of those guys that can fill a lot of different roles for us.”
Chinn finished second to Washington pass rusher Chase Young in voting for Defensive Rookie of the Year last season. Chinn led all rookies with 116 tackles and made history in the Super Bowl era when he returned two fumbles for touchdowns on back-to-back plays from scrimmage against the Vikings.
Chinn had arthroscopic surgery on his knee this offseason, so the Panthers are limiting him during organized team activities. He is expected to be full go at training camp.
The Panthers want to make sure Chinn is comfortable at safety, where he is penciled in as the starter opposite Juston Burris. But Chinn expects to be fine there.
He played more than 30 snaps at safety last season after playing safety at Southern Illinois.
“I’m comfortable playing safety, and I’m comfortable playing any position, so wherever I’m needed I will play,” Chinn said.