WR Georgia 6-3 195 JR #1
GRADE: 89 OVR RANK: TBC POS RANK: TBC
ARM LENGTH: 32 3/8″ // HAND SIZE: 8 3/4″ // 40YD: 4.47 (82%) // 10YD: 1.50 (98%)
VJ: 33″ (37%) // BJ: 10’05” (85%) // BP: ( %) // SS: ( %) // 3C: ( %)
Projection: Starting X in a timing-based pass offense that takes advantage of his separation quickness and body control. Draft Projection: Round 2 ~ GrindingTheMocks.com
Ravens Fit: The Ravens may have Pickens on their radar as his skill-set, specifically his elite body control and separation quickness, complements some of what they already have. But the Ravens also showed they like to push the ball down the field and though I think he’s better suited working underneath, that’s not to say he can’t get downfield. And I’m not sure what you would do with him and Rashod Bateman just a year apart. Of course if the Ravens are one of only a few teams that are happy with the health of Pickens’ knee then a fall down draft boards could give him value at a certain point.
Overall Fit 3/5
Plays almost exclusively outside as the X. ACL injury question mark.
Before the Catch
He has a varied release package against all types of coverage. When facing press with a jam, he is physical and deploys his play strength and length to bully smaller DBs at the line of scrimmage. When he comes up against a CB who matches his length and his patient with his press, his hand technique can be found wanting as his placement with his hands is not always accurate, but he still wins more than his fair share of battles off the line in this scenario. When facing soft press, he can use his footwork to release effectively. Pickens is a good athlete and has some explosion, so can use his single move/pressure step to release through the defender. When executing a space release, he can add a nice power skip to displace the defender. He always attacks leverage, whichever technique he is facing and he is particularly good in this regard when attacking bail/off coverage. He stems straight at the defender at first, using his long strides to gain ground quickly. He is then adept at stemming into the DB’s blind spot and setting up his break-point.
At the break point, his change of direction, lateral quickness and body fluidity helps him to create separation. On hard-angle routes he snaps his face out of the break with suddenness, on speed cuts there is no detectable rise for the DB to key on. On either type of route he can make the transition back to the QB or to the 90 degree angle efficiently, with no wasted steps – he also has excellent posture on both to keep the DB guessing. On vertical cuts, he knows how to use his body mechanics to maximize his separation, using an elbow jam to turn his hips and get open. On all routes, what is missing is elite change of direction in and out of the break, the technical aspects of his work at the break-point gain him good separation, but DBs with very good recovery speed can get back in phase on a route that takes longer to develop after the break.
The Catch and after the Catch
He has elite body control and can contort his body into the optimum position to catch the ball, even in mid-air at full extension. He will high-point the football and make contested catches he has no right to make, he can box out effectively too against DBs with good ball skills. He has a big catch radius and good hands – he can catch outside of his frame, below his knees, above his head while on the move. His ball tracking is excellent on deep balls when looking the ball in over his shoulder and can catch even over-thrown balls when he has to dive for it. He can lose concentration when working back to the QB on underneath balls when he needs to gain YAC. Not an outstanding YAC-getter – can win with lateral quickness/toughness but won’t consistently gain YAC.
Long, physical X WR with a varied release package and excellent technical ability at the break-point. A little deficient in and out of breaks. Elite body control
SO: 53 Tgts, 36 Recs, 513 Rec Yards (14.3 Ave), 6 Rec TDs
FR: 77 Tgts, 49 Recs, 726 Rec Yards (14.8 Ave), 8 Rec TDs
INJURY: Torn Right ACL Missed 9 Games (SO)