Safety is a position of need for the Chicago Bears, and many are predicting the team will address that need early on in the draft this year. As it turns out, Chicago is well on its way, already meeting with one promising young defensive back — digitally, of course.
NFL Draft analyst Justin Melo reported Monday afternoon that the Bears have held a pre-draft meeting via FaceTime with Southern Illinois safety Jeremy Chinn. Melo said Chinn, who will likely be drafted in the second round this year, has also met with the Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles.
For his part, Chinn seems more than open to playing in Chicago.
Jeremy Chinn: ‘I Would Love to Play for the Bears’
Chinn did a Q&A on Reddit recently, and when one fans asked how he would feel if the Bears selected him in the draft this year, Chinn did not mince words. “I would love to play for the Bears and the city of Chicago,” he wrote, also citing Bears defensive stars like Khalil Mack, Eddie Jackson, and Akiem Hicks. “Whatever team takes me will get someone who’s ready to work & make someone’s team better,” he added.
Jeremy Chinn Stats: His Ballhawk Tendencies Could Mesh Well With All-Pro Eddie Jackson
Chinn has shown flashes every one of his four seasons, and in the right system, he can turn into an excellent NFL safety. From 2016-2018, Chinn started 25 games for the Salukis, and he had three interceptions in each of those three seasons. He broke out a bit more in 2019, starting 10 games and snagging four interceptions while also registering his first career sack. NFL.com’s draft profile of Chinn also highlights why he would be such a good fit in Chicago, saying the following about him:
“Safety prospect with compelling size, speed and athletic ability. He has man cover skills. Very willing and able as a tackler, but despite his diverse skill set, his effectiveness can wane when asked to multitask. Chinn is at his best when he’s actively engaged and not sitting in space dissecting what comes next. His ball skills and athleticism are strengths that help define his value and teams will need to find ways to put him in position to utilize both without exposing his inconsistent field awareness. He might find a future role as a big nickel or a cover linebacker who can drag tight ends around the field in sub-packages.”
With All-Pros Eddie Jackson and Kyle Fuller leading the secondary, Chinn wouldn’t be asked to multitask. His knack for finding the ball and making plays also makes him a good fit for Chuck Pagano’s defense. Chinn forced six fumbles at Southern Illinois while recovering two to go with his 13 interceptions. His skills as a tackler would also be welcome, as one of the few knocks on former safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was his inability to tackle well.
The Bears have the 43rd and 50th picks in this year’s draft, both in the second round. If Chinn is still there at 50 — or maybe even at 43 — don’t be surprised if the Bears snatch him up.