NY Jets might have found a late-round gem in Jason Pinnock

NY Jets, Jason Pinnock
NY Jets, Jason Pinnock / Kevin R. Wexler-NorthJersey.com / USA

The NY Jets will likely have to rebuild most of their defensive unit after a poor overall season, but rookie Jason Pinnock can be proud of his 2021 performance.

Now, there's no guarantee Pinnock will have a role next season. New York will likely be looking to add two starting-caliber safeties to their defensive backfield, whether through free agency or the draft, and Pinnock still needs more time to develop.

He played in 12 games in 2021, but it was during the final stretch of the season when Pinnock really shined.

In Week 16 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Pinnock played a career-high 96 percent of defensive snaps and was solid in coverage. He delivered again in Week 17 and 18 and finished the season on a very optimistic note.

NY Jets rookie Jason Pinnock exceeded expectations with his 2021 performance

The 2021 fifth-rounder was originally drafted as a cornerback, but the Jets wound up using him more at the safety position due to player injuries.

With the team likely parting with Marcus Maye and Lamarcus Joyner this offseason, the Jets' safety unit remains a giant, looming question mark. Based on Pinnock's end of season performance, New York may be slightly more inclined to hold onto him as a depth piece, at the very least.

The Jets have other young options in Elijah Riley and Ashtyn Davis, but the team will no doubt want a more experienced safety to rely on all season. So far, neither Pinnock, Riley, nor Davis fit that bill.

That doesn't mean Pinnock can't grow into the position and potentially increase his role in the defense in the future.

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Whatever role Pinnock finds himself in next season, he will hopefully enjoy a productive sophomore NFL campaign.