Hybrid strong safety and sub linebacker flexibility
Very stiff and tight
Decent instincts, but not great
Not an interchangeable safety
Not a man-coverage safety on tight ends, receivers
May grow into a linebacker
Big jump in level of competition
Summary: The NFL advance scouts took notice of Chinn during his first three seasons at Southern Illinois, where he logged three interceptions in each campaign. Chinn had a quality junior year in 2018, totaling 55 tackles with three interceptions, two forced fumbles and seven passes defended. He had 66 and 51 tackles during the previous two seasons, respectively. That consistent play to go along with an excellent combination of size and speed landed Chinn on NFL team's preseason watch list for the 2020 NFL Draft.
As a senior, Chinn totaled 71 tackles, four interceptions and three passes broken up. He had a solid week at the Senior Bowl and interviewed well with teams. At the NFL Scouting Combine, Chinn put his great skill set on display, ripping off an electric 40-yard dash time of 4.45 seconds. With his unique skill set and impressing teams in the interview room, Chinn has been a prospect on the rise.
Chinn has some significant limitations in pass coverage because he is very stiff and tight. That is common with large safeties, so Chinn does not project to being able to play man coverage on NFL receivers or tight ends, as he will have a hard time of running with them out of breaks. They will be able to consistently create separation and get open downfield if Chinn is put in man coverage. On the plus side he has straight-line speed and ball skills. In the sub package, Chinn could be better off being moved to linebacker. As a safety, Chinn is a true strong safety who does not offer interchangeable ability to move to free safety.
In the ground game, Chinn is a solid contributor. He has good size and strength to tackle NFL running backs. His instincts are okay, and his straight-line speed allows him to cover a lot of ground while being able to come down hill in a blur. As a run defender, Chinn should be a good enforcer and can function as the eighth man in the box.
For the next level, Chinn could be a hybrid defender who plays strong safety in base defense and moves to linebacker in the sub package. That could change over time into being his permanent position. Some teams feel Chinn could grow into being a Will linebacker like Mark Barron. Barron was a bust as a safety for Tampa Bay, but turned into a capable starting linebacker for the Rams. In the 2020 NFL Draft, Chinn looks like a second-day pick. Some team sources think he could be a late second-round or early third-round pick.
Player Comparison: Kam Chancellor. Team sources said Chinn could be a similar pro to Chancellor. It makes a lot of sense as they are almost identical in size. Chancellor (6-3, 225) had a play-making presence, but he also had some limitations from stiffness at his size. In the NFL, I could see Chinn being a pro similar to Chancellor.