- Panthers’ Safety Jeremy Chinn closes gap in DROY race
- Chase Young remains the betting favorite
- Read below to find out our best bet
Nothing like an historic performance to vault you into serious discussions for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
But that’s exactly where Panthers’ safety Jeremy Chinn finds himself, sitting second in the latest NFL DROY odds, after completing a feat that’s never been seen in the league before.
2020 NFL DROY Odds
|Chase Young||EDGE||WAS||2nd Overall||+160|
|Jeremy Chinn||S||CAR||64th Overall||+230|
|Antoine Winfield Jr||DB||TB||45th Overall||+500|
|Julian Blackmon||S||IND||85th Overall||+700|
|Patrick Queen||ILB||BAL||28th Overall||+750|
|Jaylon Johnson||CB||CHI||50th Overall||+1200|
|Jordan Elliott||DT||CLE||88th Overall||+3300|
|Isaiah Simmons||ILB||ARI||8th Overall||N/A|
|Kenneth Murray||ILB||LAC||23rd Overall||N/A|
|Derrick Brown||DT||CAR||7th Overall||N/A|
*Odds from December 3
Chinn Up After Week 12
Chinn officially tossed his name into the DROY party with a sequence never before witnessed on an NFL field. In the third quarter of their game with the Minnesota Vikings, he was Johnny on the Spot when he scooped up the leftovers from a Kirk Cousins’ strip sack and hit paydirt.
Jeremy Chinn with back-to-back fumble return TDs 😳
(via @Panthers) pic.twitter.com/mDn1jLYmTM
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) November 29, 2020
But he wasn’t done there. On the very next offensive snap, Chinn stripped Dalvin Cook and again marched untouched to the endzone. He was the first player to have two scoop and scores since a dude named Fred Evans in 1948.
He became the first defensive player to score on back-to-back plays, and the fastest to score two touchdowns (10 freaking seconds). No team had accomplished the two-fumble scores in a game since 2015.
Jeremy Chinn just strips Dalvin Cook and takes it back for his 2nd TD on back to back plays lol pic.twitter.com/A9IuiI88l1
— Billy M (@BillyM_91) November 29, 2020
That play now becomes the centerpiece of a super-charged resume that already looked Pro-Bowl worthy: 87 combined tackles, five passes defended, one forced fumble, one interception and two fumble recoveries and two touchdowns. And the Panthers still have four games to play.
The @Panthers propping up S/LB Jeremy Chinn for #NFL DROY, with good reason. Take a look 👇🏈 pic.twitter.com/pvfICOzel6
— Nick Carboni (@NickCarboniWCNC) December 3, 2020
He’d become the first defensive back to win the award since Marshon Lattimore in 2017, but Chinn — a second round pick out of Southern Illinois — would be just the fifth DB to win the award in the last 30 years, and the first since Mark Carrier in 1990 to win as a safety. None of the modern day legends of Ed Reed, Troy Polomalu or Earl Thomas was able to do it. Can Chinn?
Chase Being Chased
The second overall pick from Ohio State, Chase Young just happens to be in the more ideal position to snag the award. Since 2000, just three players outside of the front seven has been able to win DROY.
And they come in all different styles. Nick Bosa, last year’s winner, is a pure edge rusher. 2018 winner Darius Leonard is a tackling machine. 2014 winner Aaron Donald and 2013 winner Sheldon Richardson wreaked havoc inside.
Most pressures among rookies:
1. Derrick Brown – 20
2. Chase Young – 18 pic.twitter.com/zGBY86W9O8
— PFF (@PFF) November 26, 2020
The first and second level of a defense just draws more attention.
Young has had a pretty good year: he’s racked up 4.5 sacks in Washington, as part of one of the best defensive fronts in football. He has 22 solo tackles, a pair of forced fumbles, seven tackles for loss and an additional five QB hits.
Chase Young is taking soulspic.twitter.com/1dlDCbR0Kt
— PFF (@PFF) November 26, 2020
Young has battled a high ankle sprain and missed a game, but after a blazing 2.5 sacks in his first two games, he’s totaled two sacks in his last seven games.
Still, solid numbers, but are they hardware worthy?
What’s The Best Bet?
With Patrick Queen the only front-seven player among the top-5, and Chinn’s numbers topping fellow DB’s Antoine Winfield (+500), Julian Blackmon (+700 ) and Jaylon Johnson (+1200), it’s a two-person race to the finish.
Young has helped build a unit that’s seventh in the NFL in points allowed, giving up the fourth fewest yards. Washington ranks second behind the Steelers in passing yards allowed per game at just under 195 yards a contest.
Chase Young is doubled at a higher rate than T.J. Watt, Jason Pierre-Paul, and DeMarcus Lawrence.
His win rate? Higher than J.J. Watt, Khalil Mack, Cameron Jordan. 😏#WashingtonFootball
— Wizskins (@Itswizskins) November 30, 2020
The Football Team is also in position to make the playoffs, though put an NFC East asterisk on that one.
Chinn’s Panthers, meanwhile, are a middle-to-bottom half of the pack in all those categories, and they’re not in the playoff chase. But put them in the NFC East? They’d be in a tie for first.
His tackling total already has him second to only Leonard in total tackles of previous recent winners, and he’s on pace to join Leonard as the only winners this decade with over 100 tackles in a rookie season.
Young will likely need to get to double-digit sacks to claim this, as Chinn’s body of work right now has done enough to win the award.
The pick: Chinn (+230)