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2022 NFL Draft Selections

Steelers Stole The Best Wide Receiver In The Draft In Round 2

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Steelers Stole The Best Wide Receiver In The Draft In Round 2

It’s no secret that the Pittsburgh Steelers are known for drafting and developing wide receivers. Some of these receivers have become viewed as superstars in the league, with guys like Hines Ward and Antonio Brown just to name a couple. The team is hoping to continue that trend with their latest draft pick in George Pickens.

Pittsburgh was able to land Pickens in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. He may not have made it to the second day if it wasn’t for him tearing his ACL in spring practice in 2021. Thankfully, Pickens was able to fight his way back from this injury to suit up for the University of Georgia’s last four games of the 2021 season, including the FCS National Championship. After winning the title, he then declared for the draft.

Steelers George Pickens

Wide receiver George Pickens (#1) celebrating with his Georgia teammates. | Photo via Athens Online

At the NFL Combine, Pickens was listed at 6’3″ and weighed approximately 200 pounds with a 6’5″ wingspan. Many scouts believe that with his build, he should prove to be a dominant force when lined up as an outside receiver. Pickens has other physical attributes to reinforce this narrative, including his speed and hand size. Pickens displayed his quickness by clocking a time of 4.47 for the 40-yard dash. Many teams would be wary of this time but considering he may still be recovering from a torn ACL, and therefore might not be running at 100 percent, Pickens still demonstrated outstanding speed. His hand size is another useful trait to compliment his agility.

Measured at roughly nine inches in diameter, Pickens’s hands allow him to have a bigger, more elite catching radius with a vice-grip hand strength to reel in and maintain control of the ball. This also gives him the ability to make acrobatic and contested catches in traffic, reminiscent of a Randy Moss type of player. With all this information, Steeler Nation is going to be wondering, what kind of player should we be expecting out of Pickens?

Many draft analysts have had their thoughts on Pickens and his potential at the next level. For the modern-day NFL, Pickens looks very similar to DK Metcalf and/or Mike Evans. All three of these players are built relatively the same, all of whom are well known for the size, strength, and overall athleticism. In terms of speed, Pickens is middle of the pack, being faster than Evans who ran a 4.53 at the combine, but not quite quick enough to catch Metcalf who had a time of 4.33. While Metcalf and Evans each have larger hands compared to Pickens, measuring closer to 10 inches in diameter, there is one attribute all three players are equal in. The ability to win one-on-one matchups, especially in the red zone.

Final verdict for Steelers and Pickens

So, what’s the final verdict? Obviously, Pickens isn’t going to be an exact duplicate of either Metcalf or Evans, but the physical tools and traits are all there for him to be very effective in the Steelers offense. Pickens will most likely be used as an “X” receiver, primarily lining up on the outside. Regardless of who he’s compared to, one thing is very certain; Pickens has a great deal of talent, and he may turn out to be the most dominating receiver from the 2022 draft class and be a truly special player at the next level.

 

Who does George Pickens remind you of? How high do you believe his ceiling is? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below!

#SteelerNation

Name: Matt Tristan Hometown: Binghamton NY Birthday: 08/10/1994 Played football in high school and college (St. John Fisher College - Division 3) Majored in Communication/Journalism Minor in Sports Management

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