Position: Forward / Midfielder
Player Comparison: Chris Yarran
Strengths: Speed, Tackling, damaging by foot
Areas needing improvement: Consistency
If you like highlight reels, then be sure to check out Jarrod Pickett’s. The West Australian is all about speed and ball movement. His straight line acceleration is at the top of this draft class, with his 2.80 second 20 metre sprint up there with some of the best scores of all time. In regards to his line breaking ability, its still great, but he’s not up there with Chris Yarran, Billy Hartung and Connor Menadue in terms of being able to take four bounces from half back and go all the way. Even in his highlights, you can see several players make serious ground on him when he is on a tear, but often it is because he will slow down from a sprint to carefully weight a kick.
Pickett has all the qualities that can take him from being a dominant junior to a quality midfielder in the AFL. His determination to make the grade has been apparent in his attitude towards his own fitness. His skinfolds were not ideal two years ago, but now he is one of the fittest and most explosive players.
His other impressive traits centre around his ball use and also his defensive efforts. Pickett is an excellent kick, but more importantly, his vision and ability to find the right option are impressive for an 18 year old. He is strong enough to win his own inside ball, but he probably won’t play much as an inside midfielder at AFL level.
Pickett is a terrific individual defender. He puts in a lot of effort to get chase down tackles and he knows when to coral and when to go for the tackle. Pickett could be an accountable back pocket at AFL level in the same way Port Adelaide have used Jarman Impy.
As any outside midfielder can be as an 18 year old, Pickett can float in and out of games, and sometimes goes missing at important times. His consistency should improve as he finds his feet at AFL level, and if that is the only query hanging over his head, then it will be hard for Pickett to fall out of the top 10.