The following is adapted from an interview conversation conducted by Khalil Garriott, Website Editor for the NFLPA. Jason Pinkston is a redshirt senior offensive lineman at Pittsburgh. One of the top offensive linemen in the nation with 40 career starts at Pitt, he also played in the Senior Bowl. In 2010, he was a team captain and named All-Big East first team for the second straight year. In 2009, he was named a second-team All-America by SI.com and Rivals.com. He is also the cousin of former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Todd Pinkston. In his guest column, Pinkston gives fans a behind-the-scenes look at how he's preparing for the NFL Draft and his take on the NFL Lockout. Check back here each week as Pinkston chases his dream of making it to the NFL.
I'm not too sure why NFL owners locked out the players. I was really following it in the beginning. I think they wanted to come up with a rookie scale for some of the top draft picks in the first round. I think they want to give some of that money to veteran players; I'm not too sure about all the rest of it. I was following it for a while, and I just stopped following it, until they finally come up with a plan or a deal.
I heard about the NFLPA plan's during draft week. I figured that the NFLPA would want to do something separate to not help out the owners. This is a once-in-a-lifetime dream for someone out of college to be in the NFL Draft. And some of the players coming out of there are going to be top picks and who do get invited to New York -- I'm sure that their families will want to experience that. You're only going to get drafted once. It's going to be memorable. So I think some of the players who are going are thinking that I only get to go to this once. You hate to have a conflict between the players and the NFL, because it's a once-in-a-lifetime chance.
If I was invited to New York, I would definitely have to think about going. It's a blessing to be one of the top 10 picks and walk across that stage. It would be nice to bring my family along and have them sit near when my name gets called and walk up on stage. There are not many things in life you are going to be able to do with the whole world is watching.
All players have to stick together right now. There are some things about the owners' lockout that are very unfair to the players. I can only speak for myself right now, but for the guys that go out there on Sundays, for those 16 weeks they are putting their lives on the line, and one injury can end your career. We have to be smart as players. I'm not there yet, so I haven't played at that level yet or been on a team and seen how it works, but there are some things that are not right -- like 18 games. That's kind of rough. The pounding players put on each other -- over 18 games, I don't know about that.
There are so many good players, and everyone loves football and watches it. It's big and it would be nice if they could just come to an agreement and get things worked out. Football is at an all-time high right now -- all the teams winning Super Bowls, crazy finishes and the streaks. Football is No. 1. And without football, it's tough. We're not seeing anything about trades and other things that would be going on right now. We usually hear about a couple trades and free-agency moves, but now, we aren't hearing anything. All we hear is we are in another day of the lockout. There's a lot of negativity going toward the NFL right now.
I want to play football badly. As soon as Pro Day was over, I just wanted to play football. I want to put pads on, learn plays and block people. That's what I want to do. I really can't wait to play football again. I just want to get back on the field and be able to do something. Right now, Pitt's in spring ball, so I would be in spring ball if I was still in college. But it just comes along with the process.
My Pro Day at Pitt on March 15 went really well. It was a lot better than the Combine. I ran a faster 40-yard dash time and I did 22 reps on the bench. I did really well in some position drills, so I felt good about it.