Positive: Hardworking tight end with a complete game that has struggled with injuries. Solid receiver who effectively finds the open seam on the field, makes the reception in stride, and consistently catches the ball away from his frame. Displays both soft and strong hands with the ability to pull the fastball from the air. Blocks with a nasty attitude and is always looking for someone to hit. Adequate strength as a blocker.
Negative: Possesses limited speed and is not a downfield threat. Not a dominant blocker. Has major durability questions.
Analysis: Pianalto has all the skills to be a second tight end at the next level, as he is an short range receiver and does a solid job blocking. The inability to stay healthy is likely to push him deep into the draft,where he could be a bargain."
Negatives: Below average athleticism... Not real fast... Struggles to create separation... Simply an underneath target... Inconsistent concentration... Lacks elusiveness in open field... Not much of an in-line blocker... Doesn't generate much power... Durability concerns, has missed 17 games over the past three seasons with ankle, foot and multiple leg injuries, also sustained a minor concussion during the 2009 season."
As a true freshman at UNC in 2007, he started eight games at h-back/tight end and made 24 catches for 204 yards.
In 2008, he played in seven games, but missed the final four games with a fractured leg. He tallied just 7 catches for 69 yards and a touchdown on the season.
In 2009, he notched a career-high 33 receptions for 334 yards and a touchdown on the season. 2010 was likewise injury filled for Zack, and he played in just 6 games, but managed 30 catches for 311 yards and a TD.
Strengths: Nice hands. Pretty good routes, and is able to get open all over the field. Decent hands. Unique agility for a TE. Quick off the blocks. Can get YAC. Can be used in motion, or in the backfield. One of the better move-TEs available this year.
Weaknesses: Hasn't been able to stay healthy. Needs to get stronger, especially in his core area. Mostly just a pass catcher. Struggles to lock on as a blocker. Even when lined up in-line in college, he usually released. Got yanked for a blocking TE when it as time to run out the clock.
Projection: 5-6th rounder."
The 2009 season ended up being Pianalto's most productive. Despite missing five games with a foot injury, the 6-4 tight end set a school record for tight ends with 33 receptions. Those 33 receptions went for 334 yards and one touchdown. However, just as important as having good hands, Pianalto started developing into a fine blocker and developing into a more well rounded tight end. The injury bug struck again during Pianalto's senior season, this time a leg injury. In the eight games he played in, Pianalto was quarterback T.J. Yates safety valve and caught 30 passes for 311 yards and one touchdown.
Pianalto's plethora of injuries will likely keep him out of the draft. He is a versatile tight end who can catch some passes and block, but he is not a superb athlete who is worth the risk when another injury could seemingly strike at any time."