Over the last week, we have taken a look at each position group and how they performed this past fall. Today, we look at the final group of our end of season grades, the safeties.
My Overall Grade: B
The safeties group was a bit of a concern for the Panthers coming into the season with a rookie (Jeremy Chinn) and career backup (Juston Burris) slated to start alongside the veteran Tre Boston.
The Panthers' coaching staff knew Chinn would be a good player, but I don't think they quite expected him to do what he did for the entirety of his rookie season. Even in Week 1, Chinn played like a veteran. There was no acclimation period for him, he never hit the proverbial rookie wall - he just played good, solid football all year long.
Chinn won back-to-back Rookie of the Month awards and could be considered the steal of the 2020 NFL Draft. The former Southern Illinois Saluki is on a path to being one of the best young safeties in the entire NFL.
As for Tre Boston and Juston Burris, they played just about to the level of my expectations. They weren't great but weren't awful either, they were just okay. Both have to improve in pass coverage to be able to keep a starting spot on the defense in the future. If neither shows much progression, you'll see GM Scott Fitterer make some moves/draft some players that can tighten up the coverage in the backend. There were way too many explosive plays this season and many of which could have been prevented. Although they are not as involved in stopping the run as the front seven, they have to be better in run support when things break down up front and the back gets to the 2nd level.
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