Pickens excited to be with Bears:
Trevor Ruszkowski - USA Today Sports

Pickens excited to be with Bears: "I’m going to bring my everything"


by - Correspondent -

CHICAGO - Using their only third round pick in the 2023 Draft, the Chicago Bears selected defensive lineman Zacch Pickens with the No. 64 overall pick. This marked the third defensive pick for Chicago in this draft.

Pickens spent four years in college, playing all of them with the University of South Carolina. He excelled in his last two years, gaining nine tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks in addition to defending four passes and recovering two fumbles. Pickens has recorded a total of 131, and his senior year was the first that he had greater than 40 tackles.

Dating back to the combine, the Bears have been in pursuit of Pickens.

“When I got in there for the Combine, they (were) the main ones to, like, take me in, keep me relaxed, and I just enjoyed being in that room,” Pickens said. “I’m proud to say I’m a Bear. They just, they really just made it, like, comfortable. Like, they didn’t ask me too many crazy questions. They didn’t, like, try to scare me or anything. They just wanted me to be, like, me.”

While he recorded solid numbers in college, Pickens believes that he has the potential to be a lot better than he was in college since he has not yet reached his full potential. Further, he did not have consistent coaching in high school or college, so he is looking forward to having some consistency now that he is in the NFL.

“I’m going to be 10-times better than I was in college,” Pickens said. “I’ve had, like, a consistent coach and I didn’t have a consistent coach in high school either, so, like, I’ve been bounced around and just taking stuff in bits and pieces from each coach that I’ve learned from … I haven’t even reached the level I can be and I’m going to hold myself accountable to everything I do, especially going to the Bears. I’m going to be at my peak, I’m going to do everything right.”

Another value he brings to the table is dedication. While he grew up in Anderson, South Carolina and did not grow up as a Bears fan, he is dedicated to playing for the Chicago Bears and bringing everything he has to the table.

“I’m going to bring my everything. Like, I’m so pumped,” Pickens said. “I’m just going to bring myself. I’m going to bring a lot to the team. It’s just everything I’ve learned and learned from the guys and just try to help the team win the best I can. That’s the only thing I know how and that’s the only thing I’ve been growing off of and that’s the one thing I’m always going to show.”

This pick does show a dedication by general manager Ryan Poles to build the defense, particularly the run defense. A strong defensive unit has always been key for Chicago but that was actually their weakness last season. The Bears allowed the second-most rushing yards last season with almost 3,000 yards.

Pickens, on the other hand, is a player dedicated to stopping the run because for him, it’s key for a defense to be able to successfully pass rush as well.

“Once you stop the run, you can always (stop the) pass rush,” Pickens said. “A lot of people don’t think about it until, like, it’s too late and now, I get mad and I get aggressive about stopping the run and that’s the one thing I know y’all like doing and that’s one thing I’m going to bring and I’m just going to bring my juice, bring everything, my happiness, my smile, my everything to the team.”

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