The Big East's best: Jason Pinkston, No. 20

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

Ranking the Big East's top 30 players ...

No. 20

Jason Pinkston, OT, Pittsburgh

Why him here: If you want to know how valuable Pinkston was to Pittsburgh last season, just re-watch the Sun Bowl.

On second thought, no, don't watch that. The Panthers' 3-0 loss to Oregon State was one of the ugliest offensive performances in Pitt history. Pinkston had to miss that game with a shoulder injury, and the Oregon State defensive line swarmed into the backfield all day.

Things went more smoothly during the regular season with Pinkston in there, as he proved a capable replacement for former first-round pick Jeff Otah at left tackle. A talented athlete who began his career at defensive tackle, the 6-foot-4, 300-pounder has improved every year and should be one of the league's best tackles as a junior. He may lack the size to play left tackle at the next level, but Pitt sure knows how important he is.

The countdown

No. 21: Jessie Hester Jr., WR, South Florida
No. 22: Ryan Blaszczyk, C, Rutgers
No. 23: Jeff Linkenbach, OT, Cincinnati
No. 24:
Brandon Hogan, CB, West Virginia
No. 25:
Mike Williams, WR, Syracuse
No. 26:
Nate Allen, S, South Florida
No. 27:
Jock Sanders, WR, West Virginia
No. 28: Nate Byham, TE, Pitt
No. 29: Jon Dempsey, LB, Louisville
No. 30: Moe Petrus, OL, UConn