The University of Southern Illinois Salukis are by no means a college football powerhouse. Most people probably don’t even know what a Saluki is, but the school is still home to one of this year’s most tantalizing prospects.

Jeremy Chinn has quickly risen up boards and even has a chance to sneak into the bottom of the first round thanks to his rare athletic profile. His last-second rise has a lot to do with the fact that he was on no one’s radar until late in his impressive senior season.

On Bleacher Report’s Stick to Football Podcast, Matt Miller said, “If you told me Jeremy Chinn would’ve been my No. 2 safety six months ago, I would’ve said, ‘Who?'”


This draft class may lead you to believe otherwise, but the NCAA isn’t pumping out 6’3″, instinctive, ball-hawking, safety-linebacker hybrids that run a 4.4 40-yard dash every year.

Those kinds of athletes are just a rare breed, and this year we’re lucky enough to have two.

Chinn has showcased the ability and has the tools to play both linebacker and safety at the next level, which should make him even more appealing. He does his best work close to the line of scrimmage though, as he has a real nose for the football.

Chinn is constantly making plays because of this and his aggressiveness. His senior season, Chinn came away with four interceptions and recovered a fumble. He’s also a strong tackler who does a good job of wrapping up and laying hard hits, and he does a good job of going for the strip when the moment is right.


The negatives with Chinn are few and far between. NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah reported that, while talking to an unnamed front-office executive, he asked, “What don’t you like about Chinn?” in order to help fill out his own scouting report.

“The helmet,” said the executive, referring to the level of competition. “That’s about it.” That’s because there really aren’t many red flags to Chinn’s play outside of the Saluki decal.

His football IQ is one of those concerns, though. He often makes his read and diagnoses the offense slower than you’d like, and he also bites on routes he shouldn’t, too often. That being said, some of that can be attributed to the level of coaching he received in college.


Jeremy Chinn would be a home-run of a second-round pick for the Broncos. He could make the move to linebacker if Vic Fangio wanted, like Thomas Davis and Shaq Thompson have in the past, or he could serve as an immediate replacement for Will Parks and eventual replacement for Kareem Jackson.

Ideally, he’d be brought along slowly so he can adjust to the speed of the NFL game, improve his football IQ and finetune the aspects of his game that need it. That makes Denver the perfect landing spot, as they’d be in no rush to get him on the field with Todd Davis at linebacker and Jackson at safety.

Draft Projection: Late first-Early second round

Player Comparison: Derwin James