Jared Pinkney played college football at a losing program and the Patriots let him know his mindset followed suit.
The Vanderbilt tight end interviewed with the Patriots at the NFL Combine this week, when they called him out for having a “loser’s mentality.”
“It’s interesting, because (with) a team that’s been winning for as long as they have, you expect them to come in with a certain mentality and to share that mentality and to spread it and impart it on you,” Pinkney said, according to NESN. “And that’s exactly what happened. I gave a kind of wonky answer, and it was like, ‘No, that’s a loser’s mentality.’ And I was like, ‘OK, my bad.’ (Raises hands.) They were like, ‘You need to be like this and that and that,’ and I was like, ‘Yes, sir. I’m better.’ ”
Vanderbilt was 20-30 while Pinkney was on the roster, but the 6-foot-4, 260-pound prospect is considered one of the top tight ends in the 2020 NFL Draft class, though he ran a disappointing 4.96 in the 40-yard dash.
If he had entered the draft after his junior season — when he caught 50 passes for 774 yards and seven touchdowns — he may have been a second-round pick, according to ESPN’s Todd McShay. But Pinkney had a quieter senior year, with 20 catches for 233 yards and two touchdowns.
The Patriots, of course, could use an impact tight end after failing to find one in their first season after Rob Gronkowski retired. They have also been connected to LSU tight end Thaddeus Moss — son of former Patriots receiver Randy Moss — who just found out at the combine he has a broken foot, per multiple reports.
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