Seattle Seahawks 90-Man Roundup: Will Nathan Pickering Stand Out in Crowded DL Room?

Nathan Pickering signed with the Seattle Seahawks after a strong performance at rookie minicamp. Can he turn that into a spot on the 53-man roster?
Sep 10, 2022; Tucson, Arizona, USA; Arizona Wildcats quarterback Jayden de Laura (7) against Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive tackle Nathan Pickering (22) at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 10, 2022; Tucson, Arizona, USA; Arizona Wildcats quarterback Jayden de Laura (7) against Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive tackle Nathan Pickering (22) at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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With OTAs now opening across the NFL, the Seattle Seahawks will open training camp at the VMAC in a little over two months, officially ushering in the first season under new coach Mike Macdonald.

In preparation for the new incoming season, we'll be detailing every member of the Seahawks 90-man roster over the next several weeks, diving into scheme fits, exploring best and worst case scenarios, and predicting what to expect from each player entering the 2024 campaign.

After spending five seasons with Mississippi State, can Nathan Pickering take a step forward and win a roster spot?

Background

Pickering was a high four-star recruit out of Seminary High School in Seminary, Mississippi. He committed to Mississippi State in their 2019 class. He played as a freshman and played all five seasons for the Bulldogs, staying relatively consistent. He amassed 72 tackles and 14.0 sacks with 60 pressures. His senior season was his most successful having played 530 snaps and amassed 28 tackles with 15 pressures and two sacks.

Scheme Fit

Pickering spent the majority of his time at Mississippi State playing on the interior. Per Pro Football Focus, Pickering played as a 3-tech defensive tackle on 269 of his 527 snaps. He also spent plenty of time as a straight up nose tackle with 153 snaps and 63 snaps as a 1-tech defensive tackle. He fits well as an interior player, but his size at 6-3 and 300 pounds will allow him to play a defensive end role in Macdonald's 3-4 scheme.

There is a lot of intrigue with Pickering's tools. He has a large wingspan and big hands to handle blockers in front of him. Pickering also shows aptitude as a pass rusher and penetrates well when being used with stunts. pairs it with a good motor. That will make a difference as a motor that runs hot only helps making a roster.

Best Case Scenario

Pickering likely won't get many reps, but his size profile for a move to defensive end could allow him to stand out and make waves early on. If he can make an impression early on, Pickering can rise up the depth chart and make waves.

Worst Case Scenario

Despite possessing some intriguing tools, Pickering isn't a high-upside athlete, which is why he went undrafted. Not getting many reps could be a major downfall to his stock and find him getting released even before final cuts.

What to Expect in 2024

Pickering comes to the Seahawks with little fanfare. He is one of the few players who the Seahawks signed as an undrafted free agent that didn't end up getting a signing bonus or guaranteed money because he was signed after rookie minicamp. That leaves an uphill climb for him to make the final 53-man roster.

On top of that, the depth chart is going to be tough to crack. After the starters, there is some solid depth, including first-round pick Byron Murphy II. Pickering will be competing with the likes of 2023 fifth-round pick Mike Morris, fellow undrafted free agent Devere Levelston and Myles Adams for the sixth defensive line spot in a competition that isn't a favorable one for him.


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Tyler Forness

TYLER FORNESS