Blocking tight end
Former Vanderbilts Commodores tight end Jared Pinkney was certainly expected to be a highly coveted tight end in the 2020 NFL Draft. But his production plummeted in his senior season at Vanderbilt, due to quarterback chaos, and his projection as high as a day-two prospect evaporated.
Ultimately he signed on with the Atlanta Falcons after the 2020 NFL Draft and signed on to their practice squad for the 2020 season. Despite being promoted for one game, he was inactive and did not play a single down for the Atlanta Falcons. He did, however, become familiar to interim head coach Raheem Morris, who signed on as the LA Rams defensive coordinator in 2021.
Pinkney signed on with the Tennessee Titans for 2021 but was released at the end of training camp. He was then signed on by the Detroit Lions for the month of September 2021 through October 12, when he was finally released.
If you were looking for a fresh player who can handle the role vacated by now injured player Johnny Mundt, Jared Pinkney will make you smile. He stands 6-foot-4 and weighs a stout 255-pounds, and he has serious upside at catching passes thrown his way. He can play in either the traditional tight-end role or the H-back.
How well can the LA Rams develop Pinkney remains to be seen? Still, he has the raw stuff that the position requires, and he has the promise of flashing a very high NFL season before he was caught in the vortex of signing on with three different teams over the course of one year. Now with the Rams, hopefully, he will grow some roots and have the opportunity to stick around.
Once more, the Rams have kicked over some NFL stones and added players discarded by other teams. This is the same career path used by the LA Rams to unleash the NFL potential of OLB Justin Hollins and DB Darious Williams. While nothing is promised, it always pays dividends to take notice of players signed to the Rams practice squad. Oftentimes, they are the players who are on the football field the following season.