2021 NFL Draft: Jason Pinnock Player Profile

Jason Pinnock 2021 NFL Draft Overview

Position: Defensive back
Height: 6’0”
Weight: 205 pounds
School: Pittsburgh Panthers

Jason Pinnock 2021 NFL Draft Profile

At first glance, former Pittsburgh defensive back Jason Pinnock doesn’t necessarily catch your eye when it comes to a typical NFL cornerback. He has largely taken a backseat role to some of his fellow college teammates, including Jalen Twyman and Rashard Weaver. In fact, he’s not the most popular Pittsburgh defensive back, as that belongs to Damar Hamlin (see his profile here). Nevertheless, it’s about having the ability to play when your number is called. In the case of Pinnock, there may not be much tape, but from what is available, there are certainly some moments of promise.

After playing sparingly as a freshman, Pinnock recorded six interceptions over the next three years. Against Clemson in the 2018 ACC Championship game, Pinnock held his own against the Tigers top targets with three pass deflections in a 42-10 loss to the eventual national champions. In 2020, Pinnock made a big interception against Virginia Tech in a 47-14 win for the Panthers. Though he has not been a lockdown corner, he certainly has made plays and shown that his effort can’t be questioned, even though he has been beaten on several plays.

Strengths

  • Quick hands;
  • Right size;
  • Aggressive;
  • Keeps the play in front of him;
  • High athleticism;
  • Fluid running

Weaknesses

  • Play recognition is below average;
  • Inconsistent coverage;
  • Can give up big plays;
  • Not enough instinct to be a ball hawk;
  • Loses balance often
NFL Comparison: Duke Shelley
Projection: Late sixth round or seventh round

Bottom Line on Jason Pinnock

Jason Pinnock had moments in college where he looked the part, but more often than not, what is on tape shows that he will likely have a reserve role in the NFL and will likely be a special teamer for the majority of his career. Inconsistent coverage is not going to be accepted by coaches in the NFL, given how the passing game has greatly evolved. Also, giving up big plays draws major red flags and dictates more of an inside role than being on the outside. Moreover, losing balance when trying to defend a quick receiver won’t lead to a lot of playing time in the NFL.

Additionally, inconsistent play recognition is a big red flag that teams will have to reshape, or Pinnock might find himself an early cut from a team. On the flip side, he does have the right size for a defensive back and has quick hands, which work in his favor. Also, he is a very athletic cornerback, which means a team may even consider moving him to offense in a receiver or running back role, provided he is willing to make the change. Should they choose to keep him on defense, he will undoubtedly face a high challenge in making a roster, although the same can be said if he switches to the offensive side of the ball.

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