Jeremy Chinn update should excite Carolina Panthers fans in 2023
By Dean Jones
General manager Scott Fitterer's update on how defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero will deploy Jeremy Chinn in 2023 should excite Carolina Panthers fans.
While the primary focus remains on which quarterback the Carolina Panthers will take at No. 1 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft, this is just a part of what will hopefully be a successful campaign for the franchise next time around. This is a league driven by productive performers under center, but as the old saying goes, defense wins championships.
The Panthers shelled out major money to lure defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero from the Denver Broncos. His reputation is blossoming around the league, which could come with more head coaching interest during the next cycle if the progressive mind continues on his current career trajectory.
Carolina's defense has everything in place to make serious strides under Evero's guidance. They are a little short at edge rusher and cornerback, but these position groups should be strengthened during the draft once their future signal-caller is confirmed.
Jeremy Chinn update should excite Carolina Panthers fans
Evero plans to utilize a creative 3-4 base front with multiple alignments depending on the situation. The Panthers made some decent free-agent signings to cope with this important transition, which also increases the ways in which Jeremy Chinn can be deployed heading into a contract year.
Chinn took the league by storm as an outside linebacker in 2020. He was unfortunate not to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year over Chase Young, but his influence waned slightly after Carolina shifted him to the safety position and away from the line of scrimmage.
With the Panthers acquiring Vonn Bell - an experienced contributor on the backend with plenty of success attached to his NFL career so far - it only adds to the intrigue about how Chinn will maneuver around the defense in 2023. And the recent comments by general manager Scott Fitterer when speaking to Panthers.com reporter Augusta Stone about the former second-round selection should excite fans.
"They're going to move (Chinn) around a little bit in this defense. He'll be like the big nickel, maybe dime linebacker. … It just gives us flexibility on the back end. This is a league now where you're in nickel 75 to 80 percent of the time. Guys like Jeremy are going to be on the field. He's a very valuable player for us."- Scott Fitterer via Panthers.com
This should also be music to Chinn's ears. The one-time Southern Illinois star is at his best when instinctive, reactionary, and allowance to reach the contact point with athleticism and ferocity, which is exactly what Evero will be looking for within his system.
Chinn has a lot riding on the upcoming campaign. There's a chance to add extra dollars to his contract demands with a dominant season, although there's also the possibility of Carolina's brass sorting out a long-term extension beforehand once the team's draft commitments conclude.
A linebacking quartet of Shaq Thompson, Frankie Luvu, Chinn, and Brian Burns comes with some mouth-watering upside. Carolina has some intriguing depth pieces in Marquis Haynes and Brandon Smith, with the potential for further arrivals via the draft something else that can assist greatly in 2023.
The Panthers are placing a significant amount of faith in Chinn next season. Permitting one player such freedom around the field comes with risks attached, but the do-it-all defender has already proven his credentials in this regard and could pick up where he left off as a rookie.