The Clemson Insider gives a scouting report on every player on Clemson’s summer depth chart. We will break down what the player does best, what he needs to work on, how he compares to other former players at his position and where he fits on the Clemson roster.
Player name: Nyles Pinckney (6-1, 295)
Player position: Defensive tackle
Years left of eligibility: 4 years
Current rank on depth chart: Co-second team
Player productivity so far: Pinckney was redshirted in 2016.
What player does best: Pinckney has good hands and feet. He is also very agile for a big man and like all Clemson defensive tackles, he is very athletic.
What player needs to work on: Pinckney just needs to work on his technique. When he got on to campus last year, he was considered to be very talented, but also very raw and needed to grow in certain areas.
Productivity of former Clemson players at the position:
Grady Jarrett, 2012: He played in all 13 games and started 11. He totaled 49 tackles, including 8.5 tackles for loss. He had two sacks and 10 quarterback pressures.
Grady Jarrett, 2014: He was a third-team All-American after recording 73 tackles, including 10 tackles for loss. He had 1.5 sacks and 12 quarterback pressures.
Carlos Watkins, 2015: He played in 15 games. He totaled 69 tackles, including 8 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. He also had 3 deflected passes and returned an interception 15 yards for a touchdown.
Carlos Watkins, 2016: He was a second-team All-American after recording 82 tackles, including 13.5 tackles for loss. He had 10.5 sacks, the most by a Clemson defensive tackle in school history. He also deflected four passes and had 13 quarterback pressures.
What can you hope for? Pinckney had a very good redshirt year and was voted scout-team Player of the Week five times during the season. He carried that momentum into the spring where he was very productive as well and moved up to second team. You hope his progression up continues once the Tigers begin fall camp in August.
What is a realistic expectation? Clemson’s defensive line is loaded with talent, depth and youth, but of all of the younger players, the name that came up the most during the spring in conversations between Dabo Swinney and Brent Venables was Pinckney. The former top prospect from Beaufort, S.C., is developing at a good pace and poised to be a valuable contributor on the reserve unit this fall.
What about the future? Christian Wilkins is likely headed to the NFL after the 2017 season as a potential first-round pick. That means Pinckney will have an opportunity to compete for a starting job next spring. As for this season, Pinckney should get plenty of playing time in the fall as a key reserve in the interior of Clemson’s defensive line.
Hot off the Press. Have you ordered the 2017 Clemson season preview ‘Best is the Standard’ from the staff that covers Clemson football 365 days a year? Order yours today to make sure you get a copy!