The New York Jets drafted Jason Pinnock in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL draft. Pinnock will play his second season as a 23-year-old. Pinnock was getting some work with the starting defense throughout the offseason program. He is an intriguing young talent who could potentially provide a spark for the Jets. In 2022, Pinnock has a chance to take on a substantial role with the Jets as there are some looming questions at free safety.
Brief review of 2021:
Pinnock joined the Jets as a rookie playing cornerback, where he was used in college. By the end of 2021, Pinnock was playing at safety. As a result of some young corners ahead of him stepping up and tons of injuries and struggles at safety, Pinnock was deployed in a new position. He showed some encouraging promise as a young player inexperienced in the position. Pinnock started two games and played 201 snaps, most of which were late in the season. He ended up with two forced fumbles, and one pass defended.
The reason for optimism with Pinnock is that he offers an enticing set of physical and athletic skills. Physically, he presents great size at 6-foot, 205 pounds, and has 32 3/8″ arm length. Pinnock provides obvious versatility as a now safety with his former playing experience at cornerback. At safety, Pinnock can provide the Jets with man-to-man coverage ability.
Athletically, Pinnock is quite gifted. In the 2021 pre-draft process, he had a 9.78 Relative Athletic Score (RAS). He is fast, as shown by his blazing 1.46 10-yard split and good 4.49 40-yard dash. Pinnock is a very explosive athlete with solid agility to boot. Lastly, he displayed some physicality and toughness in a limited sample size from last year.
Projected role with the New York Jets:
Currently, it seems most likely that Pinnock will be the third safety. New strong safety and Pinnock’s college teammate, Jordan Whitehead, has one starting safety position locked in. The chances are probable that Lamarcus Joyner remains the starting free safety. Nonetheless, Pinnock will still get some opportunities. His offseason work with the starting defense indicates some growth. Eventually, his role could expand. With Pinnock’s ability to play in man coverage and more acclimation to the safety position, he could suddenly develop. Pinnock would likely be utilized as the free safety or in the slot.
Final preview thoughts:
Pinnock is a young and talented second-year player who could carve out a role for himself in the Jets’ new-look secondary. If so, it would go a long way for the Jets’ defense. Pinnock’s youth and versatility make him an exciting potential asset. He has the size, length, speed, athleticism, and coverage ability to be a contributor. Hopefully, this season he takes a step in the right direction and proves himself as a free safety and in one-on-one coverage situations. A few turnovers created would be great. Pinnock should come along nicely for the Jets in 2022.