Already familiar with the Los Angeles area due to his days as a UCLA Bruin, safety Adarius Pickett looks to continue his playing career with the Chargers.
Pickett wasn’t even among the team’s first round of undrafted free agents, or any other team’s for that matter. The team signed him following an impressive outing at a rookie minicamp in May.
It’s hard to imagine why Pickett sat available for so long after leading UCLA with 123 tackles last year. He also had seven career interceptions in college. Born in Berkeley, Pickett excelled as a player in high school and was a top-20 recruit in the entire state of California.
At UCLA, Pickett was mostly a role player for much of his first two seasons with the team, though he was used on special teams. He never posted big stats until his senior season in which he became the first UCLA defensive back in over a decade to record over 100 tackles in a season.
So what is his outlook for making an impression this summer and sticking around with the Chargers?
The Chargers currently have seven safeties on the roster and will likely keep four of them on the 53-man roster. If they keep a fifth, it will be because they don’t have 100 percent faith in the group they have and with Jaylen Watkins coming back after missing all of last season, that’s a possibility.
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Pickett will need to stand out as a special teamer. He would also have to put his name in front of fellow undrafted rookie Roderic Teamer on the depth chart and Teamer has already caught the eye of the coaching staff.
Chance to make final roster (1-10 scale) 1.5
Unless all 32 teams were just really slow, there’s a reason why Pickett wasn’t signed directly after the draft. That is likely because teams just don’t think he is big enough and fast enough to play at the next level.
He still did enough at his tryout to convince the Chargers to give him a chance so he deserves to be in camp and compete for a spot. I don’t see him as a threat to push any of the more established names off of the roster and unless he can be one of the best special teams guys in the team’s camp, there’s a good chance his football road comes to an end in September.
Of course, there will be other opportunities even if it’s not with the Chargers immediately, such as the practice squad, another team bringing him in or even another league such as the XFL. Pickett will wear No. 35 this summer and should be recognized by at least some Chargers fans due to his local ties.