CARBONDALE -- Southern Illinois safety Jeremy Chinn was selected by the Carolina Panthers in Round 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft with the 64th pick on Friday night, becoming the fourth-highest draft pick in school history.
A consensus All-American at SIU in 2019, Chinn is the 28th Saluki player all-time selected in the draft and the highest pick since cornerback Terry Taylor was taken No. 22 by the Seattle Seahawks in 1984.
The Indianapolis native was also the first FCS player selected in the 2020 draft.
Chinn finished his storied SIU career with 243 tackles, 13 interceptions, 31 passes defended, and 6 forced fumbles. After the 2019 season, he participated in the prestigious Senior Bowl and was invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, where he was among the top performers at his position, posting a 4.46 40-yard dash and 11' 6" high jump.
Chinn also reportedly impressed NFL teams during the interview process and recorded the highest Wonderlic intelligence score among safeties in the draft. The combination of his on-field performance, athletic testing and high character vaulted Chinn to elite status among potential first-day picks.
Madre Harper signs free agent deal with Las Vegas Raiders
A day after Jeremy Chinn was drafted in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, one more Southern Illinois player joined an NFL franchise, as cornerback Madre Harper signed a free-agent contract with the Las Vegas Raiders.
A two-year starter who transferred to SIU from Oklahoma State, Harper ranked 17th in the nation with 12 pass breakups in 2019, was sixth on the team in tackles (42) and added two interceptions. An honorable mention All-MVFC selection, his stock shot up after he posted a sub-4.5 40-yard dash time at his pro day.
Despite playing only two years, he finished his Saluki career ranked No. 12 all-time in pass breakups with 18 and his 12 PBUs last season were the second-most in school history.
SIU currently has five players on NFL rosters. The two incoming rookies join SIU alums Tennessee Titans tight end MyCole Pruitt, Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Craig James, and Seattle Seahawks safety Ryan Neal.