Exhibits an impressive combination of body control and pop when asked to reach linemen off his frame and is really powerful on contact eliminating defenders on kick-out blocks inside. Displays good coordination on the move and can break down in space, but he seems to get a bit confused at times and struggles to find a man to block at the second level. Will consistently make his way out into space, but at times gets caught blocking no one.
Showcases natural balance out of his stance in the pass game and does a nice job of quickly redirecting laterally. Generates a good burst off his left foot when asked to change directions back inside while keeping his base down and feet under him. Does a great job keeping his hands up where his eyes can see them at all times and is a quick puncher who can sit in and anchor at the point. Doesn’t waste much motion off the snap when asked to reach the corner out of his three-point stance. Does a great job of getting his left foot moving initially toward the edge and gracefully sliding his feet together in sync on his kick-slide.
However, the biggest concern I have with him at this stage is his overall range as I don’t think he’s a good enough athlete to reach speed off the edge at the next level. He’s consistently forced to open up his hips/shoulders toward the outside and push the pass rusher past the pocket on their outside speed rush if they get on top of him quickly.
Impression: He’s physical and coordinated in the run game and very fluid redirecting vs. the pass. Just lacks the kind of range needed to play left tackle at the next level. However, he looks like a very capable right-sided player with Pro Bowl potential if kicked inside to guard."
Negatives: Inconsistent... Has some durability concerns... Doesn't always get good depth on kick slide... Doesn't have the feet to play Left Tackle in the NFL... Can be beat by good outside speed, doesn't possess good outside lateral range... Slow getting squared up to counter-moves... Will stop his feet and reach and lean... Gets too high on some run blocks, will bend at the waist... Not an especially hard worker... Durability/knee concerns."
Pinkston has paved the way for some great rushers during his career at Pitt. The Panthers' ground game is not doing as well in 2010, but that is in part due to an inexperienced quarterback who is still working out the kinks in the offense. Seven games into the season, Pitt is the lone undefeated team in Big East play and the road to the BCS is going through Pittsburgh for now.
Pinkston is a good talent, but he lacks the traditional height and athleticism of a left tackle in the NFL. It remains to be seen if he is a better fit at right tackle or at guard at the next level. Since he is not a left tackle, he will not likely be a first round selection, but he should be gone by the end of the second round."
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