Please pardon New York Jets fans if they’re a bit excited when it comes to the team’s 2021 draft class which has just one season under its belt. But in all honesty, who can blame them? The team is well overdue for a “home run” class.
It’s been a (very, very) long time since the Jets produced a draft class that came close to resembling what this group has in the early going. Should Zach Wilson continue to trend in the right direction, it would mean Joe Douglas nabbed up to five starting caliber players in one fell swoop. Wilson, OG Alijah Vera-Tucker, WR Elijah Moore, RB Michael Carter and DB Michael Carter II. There’s also sixth-round cornerback Brandin Echols who looked like a potential depth piece/spot starter as a rookie. But is there another possible starter emerging?
Late last season we saw rookie cornerback Jason Pinnock get a look at safety as the year came to a close and the former Pittsburgh Panther impressed. So much in fact that come draft time, the Jets took a pass on a position that many perceived as one of their top needs. A win for Pinnock.
Over the final three weeks of the 2021 season, Jason Pinnock was PFF’s 4th highest graded Safety (80.7) 👀 pic.twitter.com/rYKkoiUVQG
— PFF NY Jets (@PFF_Jets) January 18, 2022
Now as the team mixes it up in minicamp, we’re hearing Pinnock’s name again from those in attendance. Last week it was being reported that Pinnock was spending a significant chunk of time with the starters. Today it was an interception in 7-on-7’s. There’s still a long way to go before the season kicks off, but in connecting the dots regarding Pinnock, he certainly looks to be giving himself a great chance to win a starting job.
Dubbed by NFL.com as a player who did some of his best work in college while his eyes were facing forward, perhaps a switch from cornerback to safety will allow him to capitalize on that strength as he gets an extended look at opposing offenses as a play unfolds.
Jets GM’s have largely been an inept group for far too long, rarely finding more than a player or two worth keeping around beyond their rookie deals. However, should Pinnock blossom in to a starter, there’s a good chance Joe Douglas will have put together the Jets best class in decades. And this, with still plenty of time to evaluate the likes of Jamien Sherwood, Hamsah Nasirildeen and Jonathan Marshall.