BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Bills' secondary was already star-studded in 2019. Tre'Davious White received an all-pro nod. Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer formed one of the best safety tandems in the league. The lone weakness was opposite white, and that's been addressed in free agency.
But Josh Norman and E.J. Gaines are much more suited to be on the outside for Sean McDermott and Leslie Frazier's scheme. The nickel spot needs to be able to both cover and contribute in the running game. As far as size and speed go, there are few that compare to Jeremy Chinn.
The Southern Illinois product faced significantly smaller and weaker competition, but Chinn's size jumps off the page. He measured in at 6'3" and 221 pounds at the combine; the biggest at his position. He could nearly pass for a linebacker. The rest of his workout was truly special.
His 11'6" broad jump led all defensive backs at the combine. He. ran a 4.46-second 40-yard dash and put up 20 reps at the bench press; both marks were top ten among DBs. That blend of strength and speed can't be taught. It's the exact combination that the Bills' defense could put to use.
The Salukis had Chinn do it all: He supported the run well and showed the ability to play in man coverage when it was asked of him. That type of assignment could be a common one for him early in his career with Hyde and Poyer manning the back end. The entire body of work, however, was done against FCS competition.
The adjustment from the Missouri Valley Football Conference to the National Football League won't be easy for Chinn by any means. With the back end locked down, the nickel role could allow him a different view of the field that could ease the adjustment. He'd rarely be responsible for an entire deep half.
Chinn's role on the team would start as a situational one. He'd have to grow into this level, and his new role. But both of those can be taught; his measureables can't be. In time, he could outgrow the nickel position and pick up right where Hyde or Poyer leaves off.