Jared Pinkney didn’t hear his title referred to as within the 2020 NFL Draft, however he was rapidly signed by the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent. Get to know extra about him in our pre-draft profile.
When Jared Pinkney made the choice to forgo the NFL Draft following his junior season at Vanderbilt, there was no means the tight finish may have recognized his senior 12 months wasn’t going to be as fruitful as he had hoped.
Pinkney’s junior season discovered him snagging 50 receptions for 775 yards and 7 touchdowns, averaging 15.5 yards per catch. Whereas the NFL was on his radar following that efficiency, Pinkney as an alternative centered on coming again to the Commodores.
“There have been issues I felt I hadn’t achieved but, individually and as a group, that I felt we had a possibility to perform,” he stated at this 12 months’s NFL Scouting Mix.
Sadly, the Commodores’ offense staggered to a 3-9 end in 2019, totaling simply 2,064 yards by the air with 10 touchdowns. Pinkney grabbed 20 passes for 233 yards, averaging 11.7 per catch, and located the tip zone simply twice. All have been profession lows.
”It was a difficult time,” Pinkney stated. “Folks ask and I’ll inform them, it’s a lesson and a time you may’t examine. It’s a must to study firsthand. Coping with adversity, controlling what you may management … Efficiency-wise, I wasn’t capable of play effectively sufficient.”
Though Pinkney was fast to level out his personal struggles, he wasn’t getting as a lot assist from his quarterback as he did his junior 12 months, both. In 2018, Vanderbilt was led by Kyle Shurmur, who handed for 3,130 yards with a 62.6 p.c completion charge. He threw for 24 touchdowns whereas being intercepted six instances.
In 2019, the Commodores turned to senior quarterback Riley Neal, who had transferred from Ball State after 4 seasons. Neal by no means fairly discovered the identical rhythm he had proven with the Cardinals, having his second-worst season of his collegiate profession with 1,585 yards, 9 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions.
With the Vanderbilt dashing recreation not posing a game-changing menace, the offense actually didn’t discover its footing.
Regardless of the difficulties, Pinkney stated he by no means second-guessed his resolution to remain.
“It’s soccer,” he stated. “In case you’re on the market second-guessing and considering and doubting, you’re going to get your self harm. So, I feel, actually, I didn’t permit myself, whereas I used to be within the recreation, to consider that sort of stuff.”
Pinkney needs to show he can do extra within the NFL than he did throughout his senior 12 months
The statistics of his senior 12 months inform a narrative of a lowered function within the Vanderbilt offense, and fewer manufacturing throughout the board. Pinkney stated that’s the very first thing groups have introduced up throughout interviews. He stated he mentioned with them the very fact he performed by a wrist harm for many of the season, which saved him out of the ultimate recreation of the 12 months. Moreover, he admits his group simply didn’t discover the chemistry wanted to place collectively a powerful season.
”I simply inform them that every part wasn’t capable of come collectively,” Pinkney stated. “And it’s unlucky, however we have been simply by no means capable of get off the bottom. It was unlucky. It sucked. However I feel it was an vital lesson, not solely in my soccer improvement, however simply life.”
Pinkney’s displaying on the mix was a combined bag. Regardless of operating a 4.96-second 40-yard sprint, he completed final out of the 17 tight ends who examined within the occasion. His bench press reps, nonetheless, have been tied for second-best at 23. He didn’t take a look at within the different elements of the mix.
At 6’Four and 257 kilos, Pinkney has stable measurement and good athleticism. His pace is fast sufficient to open up some routes and decide up yards after the catch. Nonetheless, Pinkney does see weaknesses in his recreation that he has centered on bettering.
”I feel my route creativity and savviness on the high of routes — giving head-fakes, giving a bit little bit of one thing on the way in which to them. Attacking them, getting them on their ft, issues like that,” he stated.
If taking part in at an H-back place, his capability to dam on the transfer can even probably show to be an asset, although analysts have questioned his capability to be a punishing run blocker on the line of scrimmage. However like with any profession, Pinkney is aware of he has work to do with a view to fulfill the expectations of his employers.
”I’m trying to present consistency after which so far as expertise, that I provide versatility, doing a number of jobs at a excessive degree,” he stated. “After which issues that I’m not adequate at, I’m prepared to work to get to a degree that’s acceptable for the golf equipment.”
A stable junior season at Vanderbilt confirmed Pinkney is able to taking part in at a excessive degree in a pass-first offense. However a senior season of less-than-anticipated outcomes and an NFL Draft course of stunted by the coronavirus pandemic will pressure groups to depend on his gametape and his mix outcomes with a view to get a really feel for the place he’ll match within the NFL.
Pinkney is projected as one in every of three Vanderbilt gamers to be chosen within the 2020 NFL Draft. Working again Ke’Shawn Vaughn was taken within the third spherical with the No. 76 decide by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Receiver Kalija Lipscomb ought to be a Day Three decide like Pinkney. SB Nation’s Dan Kadar ranks Pinkney because the No. 137 participant on his massive board.
Regardless of when Pinkney hears his title referred to as, he simply needs groups to remember he’s somebody to be counted on, each in video games and off the sector.
”Simply that I’m reliable,” Pinkney stated about what groups ought to learn about him. “And it’s not that I’ve had issues in my previous, however on the sector, you may belief this man with reps pass-blocking, run-blocking, reception routes, going out for passes. After which when he leaves the power, you may flip your cellphone off at evening. He’s not one which you need to fear about.
“However primarily, constructing belief in my teammates, the teaching employees and the group that this can be a sensible choice.”