Muhammad right to expect big things from Brown and Chinn

Dean Jones
(ERIK PEREL/AFP via Getty Images) Muhsin Muhammad
(ERIK PEREL/AFP via Getty Images) Muhsin Muhammad /

Former Carolina Panthers wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad is a fan of draft picks Derrick Brown and Jeremy Chinn.

It is evident that the Carolina Panthers got a player of enormous potential in Jeremy Chinn. The organization moved quickly to trade back into the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft in order to take the Southern Illinois product.

Chinn is likely going to be used in a variety of different ways by the Carolina Panthers initially. He is a superb athletic specimen who has no trouble covering at the back end or mixing in at the second level.

They also appear to have struck gold with the selection of defensive tackle Derrick Brown at No. 7. The formidable presence has all the makings of a Pro Bowl-caliber player if he reaches his ceiling. And he will be expected to be a leading contributor from day one.

The selections also caught the eye of Muhsin Muhammad, who is widely regarded as one of the best wide receivers in franchise history. Speaking to Joe Person of The Athletic, the retired player stated that Brown and Chinn would be his choices to build the franchise around with a view to becoming a possible contender in the future.

"“Derrick Brown. I would say Brown, obviously anchoring the D-line. They definitely want to build around him. Jeremy Chinn. Watching him play, his length, his aggressive, laser, seek-and-destroy kind of mentality. He’s fast. He’s an athlete, smart kid. I like him at safety. I like him at the rover linebacker. His cover skills, his closing skills — I like all of it. I thought it was a helluva pick.”"

It’s easy to see why Muhammad likes the look of Brown and Chinn. Both have the scope to be real difference-makers for a defense that struggled across the board in 2019.

They are high-character individuals who show the right sort of adaptability that transitions well during in-game situations. This is something head coach Matt Rhule sought from his draft picks. And he will be counting on Brown and Chinn to bring their A-game from opening weekend onwards.

Can the Carolina Panthers build around Brown and Chinn?

The Carolina Panthers defense is going into 2020 with plenty of uncertainty. They lost a series of veteran players in free agency and were also dealt a crushing blow when perennial All-Pro Luke Kuechly announced his retirement.

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This will mean rookies and unproven veterans will be tasked with leading the Panthers forward in 2020 and beyond. That might be a little too much to handle in the early stages of the season. But it will at least tell the coaching staff just what sort of characters they have at their disposal.

Chinn and Brown will need to be ready from the outset to stand a chance of making the expected impact from week one. Rookies do tend to go through some growing pains during their initial transition. But that should not take away from their overall prospects in the long run.

The Panthers are rightfully excited about what both players bring to the table. They come with a significant amount of upside and it will be up to Matt Rhule and others to harness this in a positive way.

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If they get this right, then the pair boast the sort of the credentials that could turn around Carolina’s defense in a big way.