Hometown: Anderson, SC
High School: T.L. Hanna
South Carolina Gamecocks
Powerful, explosive 3 tech that lacks the technique to stick in the NFL right now, but has tons of room to grow.
Long arms paired with special athleticism for a defensive tackle. Has the speed to get upfield and get to an offensive lineman’s outside shoulder. Explosive first step and gets off the line quickly. Possesses raw power in his upper and lower half, is able to drive lineman back into the pocket. Projects well as a 3 tech or 4i over the tackle. Off the snap, Pickens is able to stay low and keep leverage when engaged. Hands are able to stay underneath the opponent's pads and work upward. Flexible athlete, has back and ankle flexibility to turn the corner. Hasn’t shown any pass-rushing production in first two seasons at South Carolina. Has only been a rotational player so far in his career. Very inconsistent play down to down. Needs to learn how to use his hands and control the point of attack. When lineman get a grip, he struggles to disengage or shed. Didn’t show any plan when rushing the passer or how to set up moves. Becoming more active with his hands and working one shoulder of the lineman will go a long way for Pickens. As a run defender, Pickens needs to be able to anchor and play against double teams which he struggled with. Linemen were able to target his hip and move him off the ball too easily. Uber athletic, defensive tackle prospect that has a long way to go learning how to use his hands. Pickens has the raw power to win and doesn’t need to become a technician but needs to improve greatly as a pass rusher. The ceiling is high for Pickens as a prospect and in the pros, but may need more than one more season in college to develop. NFL teams will take the chance on him on day 3, but he will need a monster season to reach his potential draft stock.
From Anderson South Carolina and graduated from T.L. Hanna High School. Was a five-star recruit in the 2019 class and had offers from Alabama, Auburn, and Clemson. Became the 8th highest recruit in the country. Played in the Under Armour All American game. Earned South Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year honors. Earned Freshman All-SEC honors and was an honorable mention for Freshman All-American. Solidified his role as a leader in the spring and was named the most improved player on defense by his coaches.