Zacch Pickens projected first spherical decide in 2023 NFL Draft


South Carolina defensive lineman Zacch Pickens (6) places stress on Florida quarterback Kyle Trask, left, as he seems to be for a receiver throughout the first half of an NCAA faculty soccer recreation, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux, Pool)


Another South Carolina participant is having his identify thrown into the combo for the 2023 NFL Draft.

Gamecocks defensive deal with Zacch Pickens was projected because the No. 22 decide to the Cincinnati Bengals in The Athletic’s Dane Brugler’s way-too-early 2023 first spherical mock draft on Tuesday.

An athletic big man, Pickens isn’t yet a finished product, but you don’t need to squint to see why NFL scouts are intrigued by his talent,” Brugler wrote. “South Carolina has a solid track record of producing defensive linemen, and Pickens is next up in the hopper.”

Pickens arrived at South Carolina within the class of 2019 as a five-star recruit and the No. 8 participant within the class, per 247Sports. He’s since performed in all 35 video games of his USC profession, together with 20 begins.

The T.L. Hanna product is anticipated to anchor the Gamecocks line of defense once more in 2022 with defensive ends Kingsley “JJ” Enagbare and Aaron Sterling now off to the NFL. Pickens completed final season with 38 tackles, 5 tackles for a loss and 4 sacks.

Pickens is one among 4 South Carolina gamers who might theoretically be within the combine for the 2023 first spherical together with cornerback Cam Smith, tight finish/receiver Jaheim Bell and quarterback Spencer Rattler.

Smith (No. 12 total) and Bell (No. 29 total) had been each listed in Pro Football Focus’ way-too-early first spherical mock draft on Tuesday, whereas Rattler is seen as a doable first rounder ought to he discover his 2020 kind that made him a Heisman Trophy front-runner at Oklahoma.

South Carolina had simply three gamers taken within the 2022 NFL Draft in Enagbare, operating again Kevin Harris and tight finish Nick Muse. Defensive lineman Jabari Ellis (New York Giants) and operating again ZaQuandre White (Miami Dolphins) each earned undrafted free agent offers.

Kicker Parker White (Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and security Jaylan Foster (Philadelphia Eagles, Jacksonville Jaguars) additionally obtained rookie mini-camp invitations this week.

South Carolina has produced three first spherical picks within the final 5 seasons. Cornerback Jaycee Horn was the latest when he was chosen No. 8 total by the Carolina Panthers within the 2021 NFL Draft.

Ben Portnoy is The State’s South Carolina Gamecocks soccer beat author. He’s a five-time Associated Press Sports Editors award honoree and has earned recognition from the Mississippi Press Association and the National Sports Media Association. Portnoy beforehand coated Mississippi State for the Columbus Commercial Dispatch and Indiana soccer for the Journal Gazette in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

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