Grading Carolina Panthers' last five second-round picks ahead of 2024 draft

How have the Carolina Panthers fared with their recent second-round selections?
Jonathan Mingo
Jonathan Mingo / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
4 of 5

Jeremy Chinn

  • Safety/Linebacker | Southern Illinois Salukis
  • No. 64 overall | 2020 NFL Draft

Marty Hurney's valued opinion led the Carolina Panthers to trade back into the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The prospect of interest was Jeremy Chinn - a dynamic safety with the physical scope to make a difference all over the field if utilized correctly.

The Panthers recognized Chinn's elite athleticism and how best to deploy it as a rookie. They made him a starting outside linebacker in Phil Snow's 4-3 base scheme. What followed was one of the finest first seasons in franchise history.

Chinn was nothing short of electrifying. His instincts and explosiveness were a breath of fresh air at the second level. He became the first player in league history to score two defensive touchdowns in consecutive plays during their narrow loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Many felt he was robbed of winning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in favor of the more high-profile Chase Young. Superstardom beckoned for the Southern Illinois product.

Then, something changed. The Panthers opted to revert Chinn to his college position on the backend. His tackle numbers remained high, but his influence waned and his coverage capabilities were exposed.

Things got worse for Chinn during the 2023 season. He became a square peg in a round hole within Ejiro Evero's 3-4 base scheme. The defensive coordinator didn't think much of him, opting to give playing time to the likes of Alex Cook instead when Vonn Bell missed time through injury. As it turned out, that was the last Carolina's fanbase will see of him.

Grade: B

Chinn was relishing the chance for a fresh start. He joined the Washington Commanders in free agency and is highly motivated to make the Panthers pay for their lack of confidence under a renowned defensive back developer in Dan Quinn. This was an extremely disappointing end for a player who looked like being a franchise cornerstone once upon a time.