When it comes to the top safeties entering the NFL Draft in April, two names are at the top. LSU’s Grant Delpit and Alabama’s Xavier McKinney will both be first-round picks and are also be on the Cowboys radar as possible selections at 17.
However, you don’t always have to go for the big names from major programs to find productive NFL talent. With that being said, there’s another safety that created quite a buzz with his combine performance and has put himself in line to be a late first-round or second-round pick, Southern Illinois’s Jeremy Chinn.
Chinn came out the gate his freshman year in 2016 showing he was a force to be reckoned with as he totaled 51 tackles, three interceptions, and two passes defended, while also being named to the All-Newcomer Team by the coaches of the Missouri Valley Football Conference. As a sophomore, he would elevate his play to 66 tackles, three interceptions, six passes defended, and four forced fumbles (tied for fourth in FCS) and was named Second-Team All-MVFC. His junior season was yet another productive one as Chinn registered 55 tackles, three interceptions, nine passes defended, and two forced fumbles while garnering First-Team All-MVFC honors. He would then end his collegiate career on a high note as he was named Second-Team Associated Press All-American and First-Team All-MVFC with 71 tackles, four interceptions, and three passes defended.
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Chinn is a large safety at 6’3 221 pounds. He’s extremely athletic for his size as he produced an 11’6″ broad jump and an amazing 41-inch vertical in Indianapolis. Also, he ran a 4.45 in the 40-yard dash which is impressive for a man carrying his frame.
Maybe the most intriguing part about Chinn is his ball-hawking ability as evidenced by his 13 career interceptions and six forced fumbles. Turnovers are something that the Cowboys defense has lacked for years and the idea of adding a guy who has a habit of ending up with the ball in his hands opposite Xavier Woods is definitely one to consider. To top it all off, he’s a sure tackler that plays with the kind of physicality you want in a safety.
Scouting report according to NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein
Chinn is a guy I feel the Cowboys should consider in round two, or even round one if both Delpit and McKinney are off the board. A possible diamond in the rough could be right in front of the Cowboys eyes, however, will it shine bright enough to get him in Dallas? Time will tell.