Over the past 40 years, the U has produced a gold mine of NFL talent on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Linebacker Michael Pinckney is another of those Miami products that scouts will take a close look at. Pinckney is another prospect that can either tremendously improve his stock, or he could fall in the draft, it all depends upon his work at the combine, pro day, and the Shrine Bowl.
What scouts will like about Pinckney is that he has been a four-year starting at the middle linebacker position for the Hurricanes. Pinckney is considered by some observers to be one of the hardest hitting defensive players in the draft. The area that Pinckney is the most impressive is defending the pass. Pinckney has the speed to break up passes and even pick off an occasional pass. Pinckney is a player that has the skillset to improve his draft projections, as we get closer to the combine and draft day.
Pinckney is only 6’1” 225lbs so his size will limit him in trying to fight off blocks. Playing near the line of scrimmage can get him lost in the shuffle, he is much more effective in coverage. Pinckney is impressive in being able to read a play and use his quickness to bring down the ball carrier. Pinckney will be playing on Sundays and has the potential to join the ranks of other great Hurricane linebackers. I fully expect Pinckney to have a solid NFL career.
Pinckney is an impressive linebacker and I am grading him out as a third-round pick. I think a team may take him early in the third or one may decide has enough potential to take him late in the second round.