Name: Adarius Pickett
Hometown: El Cerrito, California
High School: El Cerrito
Key Offers: Nebraska, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Washington
*Previously on The Bootleg, a radio interview with Pickett.
Adarius Pickett's ratings are indicative of a high-end BCS level prospect who could be a camp circuit away from elite status. All of the services see him in a similar light in position, national and state rankings. The only, slight inconsistency in his profile is the offer list, which has a cluster of big-name and successful programs but not quite as many as one would expect to see from a prospect with his rankings and ratings. That phenomenon may be due to Pickett's relatively late arrival in the recruiting spotlight. Expect Pickett's offer list to expand significantly as he goes through the summer camp circuit.
Adarius Pickett is a compact, agile and explosive player with surprising strength for his size. He doesn't have a "long" build for a cornerback, but does have decent height at 5-foot-11 to 6-foot-0. His being more compact seems to help him in physical, one-on-one battles as he is able to use his strength in fighting off blocks, wrestling ball carriers to the ground, jamming receivers at the line and, on offense, pulling away from tackles. He is able to engage and defeat opponents who have a significant size advantage over him.
In coverage, Pickett displays good speed and acceleration to go along with his strength. His film doesn't present him as a flat-out burner with respect to straight-line speed, but he does show that has more than enough to stay with receivers and track down ball carriers on long runs. What stands out about Pickett's coverage skills is his quickness. He has great plant and drive ability and "make-up" speed. When the ball is in the air he tends to hit a gear that quickly diminishes any separation a receiver may have had. Combined with his quick feet and hips, which allow him to stop on a dime and change direction, Pickett possesses the key skill set for any cornerback.
When the ball arrives, Pickett shows competent ball skills as well as good timing when breaking up passes. Even when a covered receiver has good positioning on him, Pickett is able to find a way to prevent the reception without committing a foul. His hands, which are on display in his offensive highlights, are very good as he is able to comfortably catch the ball away from his body and outside of his frame.
On run plays, Pickett appears to have somewhat of a safety's mentality. He is aggressive in attacking the line and closes with good angles to the football. Secured tackles are a consistent theme throughout his film. Pickett wraps up ball carriers rather than throwing shoulders at them. While that is really more of a coaching point, the fact that he already has good habits in that area may help him get on the field very quickly, as those are the types of habits that eliminate or mitigate big plays for the offense.
Adarius Pickett has a very solid skill set for the next level. He has the strength and physicality that could allow him to develop into a safety, but his quickness and ability to make plays on the ball will likely cement him at the corner position. Pickett projects as a very good cornerback prospect who can bring playmaking ability, versatility and toughness to a defensive secondary.
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