George Pickens: Pittsburgh Steelers’ newest defensive backfighter

We’ve been removed over a week from the 2022 NFL Draft, and the only pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers that excites me more than anyone else is the 52nd pick, George Pickens of Georgia. Pickens is an absolute beast and, in my opinion, would have been a first-round pick had he not ripped up the AFC Champions League in 2021. He has brought a massive amount of talent and promise to the wide receiver Steelers.

Pickens is 6’3″ and 195 pounds and was born in Alabama, like former Steelers legend John Stallworth. With only his initial ability, Pickens has the potential to become the Steelers’ DB Slayer. Many suggest, and I agree, get The Steelers on Stealing the Pickens in Round 2. The Pickens provides excellent overall value, and given Kevin Colbert’s track record of crafting high-quality receivers, there’s every chance that he’ll become a great choice for the Steelers.

Now some have questioned Pickens’ position. Some called him a troublemaker after his much publicized field fight in his freshman year against Georgia Tech, and his water bottle spray against Tennessee. However, when you really look at this guy, he doesn’t seem to have a bad attitude. In an interview in his sophomore year, after a brilliant solo performance, rather than speaking for himself, he praised his offensive line, midfield and coaches for helping him reach a position where he could perform as he just did. Additionally, in 2021 after a non-contact injury to the ACL, instead of focusing only on making himself fully fit for the project, Pickens fought back and, although not 100%, played a role in Georgia’s march to the championship National. To me, that doesn’t seem like a player with a behavior problem, and Pickens seems like a first-team player with an edge, which is what you need to be in the NFL.

Of course Pickens has an aggressive character in his play, but it is this aggression that makes him what he is. A wide receiver who can win contested catch touches, someone who fights for extra yards, a receiver who fights to get to the end zone and someone who takes no crap from the defensive linebackers. The Pickens are in the perfect place to channel this aggression the right way to make him one of the top 10 receivers in the league. Mike Tomlin makes Pittsburgh a perfect place for Pickens because he is one of the best players at motivating and focusing his players the right way.

George Pickens’ statistics are promising to say the least. During his time in Georgia, he averaged 14.8 yards per catch in 2019, 14.3 yards per catch in 2020 and 21.4 yards per hunt in 2021, and was given only 5 receptions. Over his three years in college, he lifted 1,347 yards and scored 14 touchdowns. Pickens played a slot and an outside receiver as well, which shows the flexibility of the situation which is something both Tomlin and Matt Canada really appreciate.

When you look at Pickens’ total value, what’s not to like?

  • fast and powerful
  • The explosion of speed, which helps him bypass the press coverage of the man
  • Creates awesome throw windows while surprising it at the breaking point
  • The ability to shoot the ball
  • A win in the disputed catch
  • Elite fishing radius
  • Vice like hands
  • physically when blocked

Black and Gold fans should be excited to see him play for the Steelers for years to come.

Pickens has all the skills needed, if he can stay healthy and use it the right way, to help turn a Pittsburgh attack into a dynamic one. With Chase Claypool, Neji Harris, Pat Freymouth, Calvin Austin III and Deontay Johnson, it’s a weapon that Kenny Beckett or Mitchell Trubesky would love to target early and often.

I firmly believe that George Pickens has the skill set and attitude to be WR1 in the league and should be a welcome addition to the Steelers attack for years to come.

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