NFL Draft: Vanderbilt's Jared Pinkney Signs UDFA Deal With Falcons

Greg Arias

The long weekend of the 2020 NFL Draft has come and gone. For 255 players, their dreams of being drafted into professional football became a reality, while many others waited patiently for the call that never happened.

Former Vanderbilt tight end Jared Pinkney experienced the latter, waiting throughout the three-day process to hear his name called only to go undrafted.

However, Pinkney received a call, like others who went undrafted but are now signing as free-agents with any team of their choosing that will offer them a shot.

A Norcross, Ga. native, Pinkney is heading home, having inked his deal with the Atlanta Falcons where he will join the team in that undrafted capacity. When the time comes, he will get his chance to learn the system, practice, and perhaps make the 53 man roster or find a place with their practice squad to continue his dream.

There are no guarantees that just because a player signs such a deal that they have secured a place within the organization once the next regular season begins. What this deal does do is allow players to have another audition for the other 31 teams, and that can lead to other opportunities if things don't work out with the first team.

Commodores head football coach Derek Mason shared a social media post with a message to his former player on Saturday.

"Jared has played in 50 college football games; he's a match-up problem all day long. There's no route he hasn't ran, nor zone or gap scheme he hasn't blocked. He's played on special teams throughout his career and possesses the maturity of a player beyond his years. All he wants to do is win," wrote Mason.

While the Falcons struggled last season and failed to make the playoffs, Pinkney will get his chance to earn his spot, fulfill his dream, and help his home state franchise attempt to turn things around.

What more could a football player ask for than to receive a chance to continue to play the game they love? It's all up to Pinkney now to take advantage of this change.

Good luck, young man. 

Follow Greg on Twitter @GregAriasSports and @SIVanderbilt or Facebook at Vanderbilt Commodores-Maven

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