Falcons Sign Promising Vanderbilt TE in Undrafted Free Agency

Jared Pinkney

Getty Jared Pinkney #80 of the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Undrafted free agency started just minutes after the 2020 NFL Draft concluded and the Atlanta Falcons didn’t waste any time. The Falcons have signed a total of 20 undrafted rookies.

There is plenty of talent amongst this group of guys, but one who really stands out is former Vanderbilt tight end, Jared Pinkney.

Pinkey is entering the NFL with hopes to prove he’s a better TE than he was at Vandy.

This is the Story ALL About How Pinkney’s Life Got Flipped-Turned

Pinkney went from being one of the highest tight end prospects to an undrafted free agent due to many obstacles. One being a wrist injury he suffered prior to the 2019 season.

In 2018, Pinkney balled out as a junior snagging 50 receptions for 775 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 15.5 yards per catch. Vandy was led by Kyle Shurmur that season who passed for 3,130 yards with a 62.6 percent completion rate.

The NFL was shopping for Pinkney as a junior, but he decided to forgo the draft.

“There were things I felt I hadn’t accomplished yet, individually and as a team, that I felt we had an opportunity to accomplish,” he said at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine.

The Commodores’ offense the following season went 2-9 with just 2,064 yards through the air with 10 touchdowns. Pinkney had all career lows catching 20 passes for 233 yards, averaging 11.7 per catch, and only two touchdowns.

”It was a challenging time,” Pinkney also said. “People ask and I’ll tell them, it’s a lesson and a time you can’t read about. You have to learn about firsthand. Dealing with adversity, controlling what you can control … Performance-wise, I wasn’t able to play well enough.”

Vandy’s awful offense wasn’t just Pinkney’s fault, he didn’t have much help from senior quarterback Riley Neal. Neal had his second-worst season with 1,585 yards, nine touchdowns, and five interceptions.

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It’s Showtime!

Pinkney isn’t going to let his senior year at Vandy define him. For Pete’s sake, he played with a wrist injury.

A 6’4 and 257-pound tight end, Pinkney has quality, NFL size, and fantastic athleticism. He has the elite speed the Falcons need. Pinkney has a few goals in mind.

No. 1 Consistency

Pinkney is willing to put in the work he needs to until it’s “acceptable.”

”I’m looking to show consistency and then as far as skills, that I offer versatility, doing multiple jobs at a high level,” he said. “And then things that I’m not good enough at, I’m willing to work to get to a level that’s acceptable for the clubs.”

No. 2 Trust

Pinkney doesn’t just want the Falcons’ franchise to trust him on the field, but also off.

”Just that I’m trustworthy,” Pinkney said about what teams should know about him. “And it’s not that I’ve had things in my past, but on the field, you can trust this guy with reps pass-blocking, run-blocking, reception routes, going out for passes. And then when he leaves the facility, you can turn your phone off at night. He’s not one that you have to worry about.”

Dan Quinn will get a good night’s sleep with Pinkney.

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