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Jared Pinkney Can Be A Red Zone Weapon (2020 NFL Draft)

by Mike Tagliere | @MikeTagliereNFL | Featured Writer
Mar 23, 2020

Jared Pinkney isn’t flashy but he can be a contributor in the red zone

Jared Pinkney, Vanderbilt

Height: 6’4″
Weight: 257 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.96 seconds
Vertical: N/A
Broad Jump: N/A

If there was one tight end who dramatically hurt his stock at the NFL Combine, it was Pinkney, who posted 5.00- and 4.96-second 40-yard dash times. Once you get into the 4.9-second area, the success rates aren’t great. Does that erase what we saw on tape out of him? It was a run-first team, but Pinkney showed ball-skills when given the opportunity.

Pinkney struggled to produce very much in 2019, totaling just 20 catches for 233 yards and two touchdowns over eight games. He played in a run-first offense, but those numbers are horrendous. He showed much more promise in 2018 when he hauled in 50 receptions for 774 yards and seven touchdowns, so it’s worth taking a closer look.

Here’s my detailed scouting report on Jared Pinkney (ratings out of five stars):

Size/Versatility

He has the size you want in a tight end and has the ability to play all three downs, though he’s not going to be considered versatile when it comes to move him around the formation. He’s an in-line tight end who can be covered by practically any linebacker, so it doesn’t create any issues for opponents.

RATING: ⭐⭐ 1/2

Route Running/Ability to Separate

He’s not someone who’ll generate much separation due to his route-running, as he’s not fast and he doesn’t have quick-twitch movements. When he gets open, it’s typically due to him leaking out into the secondary after taking on a blocking assignment, or them running a misdirection play that has him wide open up the sideline. This is the weakest part of his game.

RATING: ⭐ 1/2

Speed

You can see on the field that he doesn’t have much speed and his 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine proved it. Not just long speed, either, as he doesn’t have much burst out of the hole. His speed will limit his potential as a receiver, that much is certain.

RATING: ⭐⭐

Hands/Contested Catch Ability

This is likely the best part of his game outside of blocking. He adjusts to the ball well, particularly on throws that are to the other side of his body, as he waits until it’s completely necessary to flip his hips in order to not allow the defender the angle. Has massive mitts. When the ball hits him in the hands, he typically comes down with it. He doesn’t seem to have a crazy vertical or anything, though, so his catch radius isn’t as big as you’d like for someone who’s his size.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

After the Catch

This is a plus-area of his game, as he’s a hassle to bring to the ground. Seemingly looks forward to contact. The issue is that he’s contacted all the time because he’s not elusive. He isn’t going to be using angles to beat anyone after the catch, so he’s essentially just a big, relatively slow man that’s difficult to tackle. He gets an average grade because he’s so tough to bring down, but nothing more considering his lack of playmaking ability in the open field.

RATING: ⭐⭐ 1/2

In-Line Blocking

One of the better blocking tight ends available in this class. Does a good job squaring up his target and using his leverage to manipulate them the way he wants. He doesn’t just block well in-line, either. He does a great job when lined up in the slot, too. Always seems to find a body to get his hands on.

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Projected Draft Spot

After his disappointing Combine, Pinkney is likely going on Day 3 of the NFL Draft. Looking around the NFL at possibilities, the Patriots should absolutely be interested in someone like Pinkney. He offers in-line blocking ability as well as showing capabilities of a red zone weapon. With how much they use their tight ends down in that area of the field, they’re a team to watch.

NFL Comparison

He’s going to start as a TE2 at best on an NFL team’s depth chart, so the comparison won’t be sexy, but someone like Michael Roberts would be a solid comparison. He isn’t the best athlete but can be a red zone weapon and is a competent blocker, though I believe Pinkney is better in that area. The ceiling of Pinkney would be in the range of someone like Jack Doyle.

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Mike Tagliere is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeTagliereNFL.

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