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Steelers Rookie George Pickens Looking Like A Bona Fide Star And Is Stealing The Show In Team’s 2022 Visit To Latrobe

Twitter: @JSKO_PHOTO

Steelers Rookie George Pickens Looking Like A Bona Fide Star And Is Stealing The Show In Team’s 2022 Visit To Latrobe

The Pittsburgh Steelers practiced in front of a huge crowd at Chuck Noll Field on the campus of Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA on Saturday. 17,000 free tickets were downloaded and judging by the videos of practice, they all showed up to cheer on the black and gold. The Steelers were entering their fourth day of training camp and thus far, the star of the show has been rookie wide receiver, George Pickens.

 

Since day one of practice, Pickens has been making circus catches with regularity. Diontae Johnson has been watching from the sidelines conducting an informal hold-in, and Chase Claypool, who was hurt on Friday, watched from the sideline as the former Georgia Bulldogs number one option put on another stellar display before an enthusiastic crowd. Based on the newcomer’s performance, Johnson may want to consider ending his sabbatical from team sessions before he is plying his wares in another uniform.


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Pickens sustained a serious knee injury prior to Georgia’s National Championship run last season and most thought he had played his last collegiate game. He had displayed enough throughout his brief career that a ticket to the NFL was going to be forthcoming, but not necessarily at the top of the draft like former Bulldog star, A.J. Green, who Pickens was often compared to by observers of the program.

Steelers Pickens

Georgia wide receiver, George Pickens (1) in the National Championship Game in Indianapolis, IN against Alabama. | Photo by Tony Walsh

Pickens fought his way back to play in limited action for four games including the SEC and National Championship games. He only caught one pass against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the rematch of the SEC title game, but it was a huge diving catch, good for 52 yards to help tie the game 3-3 early in the second quarter. Pickens announced to the world he was fully recovered with the play and Alabama gave him the respect he earned for the remainder of the game.

Pickens’ skill was on full display Saturday showing epic concentration on a juggling catch. Another one of Pickens’ best attributes was on display when he sought out Cam Sutton to block in a 7 vs 7 drill when a teammate made a grab. Pickens had a reputation in college for being a willing physical blocker. His blocking skills will be welcomed by an offense featuring Najee Harris with the departure of JuJu Smith-Schuster.

We’ve witnessed superb body control during the first four days of training camp with aerial acrobatics from Pickens, but it will be interesting to see what happens on Monday. So far, Pickens has not had to deal with full contact from NFL-caliber players. The Steelers will dress out for the first time in full pads as head coach Mike Tomlin stated after practice.

“You’ll feel it on Monday. I promise you. Looking forward to it.”

Steelers Pickens

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver, George Pickens (#14) makes a leaping catch in day four of 2022 training camp on July 30th at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA. | Twitter: @JSKO_PHOTO

Contact will be the next test for the rookie wide receiver. How he reacts to the jostling from NFL cornerbacks when he tries to get off the line is a crucial test of his development. It will also be interesting to see how he fares against the Steelers linebacking crew when presented the opportunity to confront them on the edge, when Harris tries to bounce outside. The Steelers run offense and defense struggled last year and it will be interesting to see if Pickens can be a positive influence in restoring the Pittsburgh running game.

 

What do you think, Steeler Nation? Are you excited to see the next step in George Pickens’ development? Please comment below or on my Twitter @thebubbasq.com

I have been rooting for the Steelers actively since 1975. I love the Black and Gold and support them through thick and thin. I am a Navy Veteran, living in Jacksonville, FL and never miss a chance to go to the neutral site games here in Jacksonville. I am new to the Steeler Nation website, but I love discussing Steelers Past, Present and Future.

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