CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers traded up in this year's NFL draft to pick safety Jeremy Chinn at No. 64 overall and that decision is certainly paying off. Chinn has become one of the team's most important defensive contributors and was recently named the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Month for October.
“Being the one that was overlooked and the underdog in a sense, now people are starting to realize what type of work I've put in," Chinn said. "It's only the beginning I know, but it's definitely an encouraging feeling and makes me want to keep on going."
Chinn’s rookie season has been unlike any other, as it's being played during a pandemic.
“Since the draft, I didn't know what to expect," Chinn explained. "I came into everything pretty open-minded, but it's been so unpredictable. It's just kind of rolling with the punches and being prepared for whatever comes your way and I feel like I've done a good job of just embracing it."
Despite this being an unconventional NFL season, it’s evident just how much this opportunity means to Chinn when asked about it.
“Like a dream," Chinn said. "A dream come true. This is all I ever wanted to do as a child growing up and now, I'm here doing it. I'm just taking every moment, embracing it all and just soaking it up."
While his focus right now is his performance on the football field, Chinn can't wait until things start to open back up and he can begin to make a difference in the Charlotte community.
“It's been kind of hard obviously with the pandemic going on and you know just coming to the city at such a weird time and obviously being my rookie year too, mostly just been focusing on football and things like that, but really looking forward to getting out in the community here in Charlotte just to learn the community and make an impact in that way too,” Chinn said.