Shows pop as a run blocker and is able to get push and drive smaller ends and linebackers off the ball on the edge. Can make the kick out or seal block. Effective puller that can cut defenders in space and can hit his assignments. Has decent feet and athleticism on the edge to match up. Shows ability to lock on in pass protection with a good punch. Plays with good base and hard to bull rush. Flashes mean streak and gets after linebackers and does a nice job finishing his blocks.
Needs to play with better hands and technique. Comes out too high as a run blocker and needs to take better angles. Will take a false step when trying to get position on the edge and doesn't move well laterally. Struggles to lock on as a run blocker and can get caught overextending and imbalanced. Whiffs on his punch on the edge and is too much of a waist bender. Doesn't do a great job adjusting in space to inside move and will get too deep in his set. Opens up his stance early and doesn't match up well with speed. Misses assignments when asked to pull or on the second level.
Pinkston is effective because of his good size and strength, but needs to polish up his technique and footwork. He flashes the tools you like to see and is a good run blocker. But he needs more polish and despite having starting potential, it may take some time to get him there. A three-year starter at left tackle at Pitt. Missed most of his redshirt freshman year with a shoulder injury after starting the first 3 games at right tackle. Missed the bowl game as a sophomore with an injury to his other shoulder. He did not bench at the Combine because of a shoulder injury. His cousin is former Eagles WR Todd Pinkston. Primarily played defensive tackle in high school before moving to offensive tackle during his redshirt season.
The shoulder injury needs to be checked out as it's bothered him throughout his career. Pinkston is probably going to have to move inside to guard to stick at the next level. He is skilled enough to be OK on the outside, but he'll be exposed the majority of the time because he doesn't have the quickest feet, best technique to match up with speed. He would be better playing right tackle in the pros than on the left side, but for both positions he's more of an emergency guy. His lack of experience playing guard means he's not a guy that is going to come in right away and push for time there. It could take him the better part of two or three years to adjust, and he may never do so. He has the potential to be a capable starter, but probably will be average because he isn't consistent. Part of his issues might be because he's relatively new to play on offensive line, but after 41 career starts, you would think he would be fairly polished by now. Which likely means consistency will never be great. But if he can improve his hands and technique, he should be able to hold up inside. The best I think you can hope for him as a guard prospect is a smaller version of Justin Blalock. Like Blalock, he can be a capable blocker, but will have lapses of inconsistency, poor footwork, and sloppy technique. Most weeks he'll be average. Three or four years down the road you'll likely have a BLalock-esque starter. A guy that is good enough to hold the job for a few years, but probably no team is going to commit to him long-term. More than likely, he'll be able to add depth because of his ability to play inside and outside and he'll be seen more as a utility reserve over the long haul.
Pinkston could work in Atlanta, but he's a developmental guy that is probably at least two or three years from making an impact. He'll be hard pressed to earn a reserve gig as a rookie, and probably more likely to land as a practice squad guy in Atlanta. After a year or two there, he can probably stick as a reserve. In the end you hope he develops into an Ojinnaka-esque utility player that could push for a starting spot. But he's probably not a strong bet to be a long-term option as a starter in Atlanta. He's more of an insurance policy that can add some depth inside.
He should get some looks in the late rounds, but probably the earliest he should go off the board is the fifth round for a team that is willing to let him sit and develop as a guard for a few years. But he's probably better value in the sixth or seventh round because of the likelihood he's not going to add much his first year or two.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Pass Blocking: 3.0
Run Blocking: 3.5
Mean Streak: 3.5
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.