2022 Steelers draft analysis: Colbert’s final draft ignores key needs
2nd Round – Wide Receiver – George Pickens
Georgia, 6′ 3″. 195 lbs. 4.47 40-yard
I have to like this pick because Pickens was one of three wide receivers I mentioned in my mock draft for this round. Christian Watson was already gone and this Georgia Bulldog was next on my list. The Steelers lost Juju Smith-Schuster to free agency but they’ve added a WR with similar traits who may have a higher ceiling.
Pickens is a big, physical wideout in the Steelers mold. He’s actually bigger and faster than Juju. For a lanky receiver, he has quick feet and runs aggressive routes. His routes could use more refinement but it’s clear he’s working on that part of the craft. He knows how to settle into the soft spots of zones.
He displays borderline elite ball skills with the ability to go up and snatch the ball in heavy traffic. He needs to learn how to use his body. more. to box out defenders. His speed and physicality should make for big yards after the catch. There’s next to nothing showing Pickens as a blocker but he doesn’t shy away from the physical aspects of the game.
Pickens is already a good WR who should be a first-year starter with untapped potential. If he hadn’t had an ACL tear early in 2021 there’s a good chance he would’ve gone in the 1st Rd. In 26 career games, he had 90 catches for 1347 yards at 15.0 yards per catch and 14 TDs. For draft strategy, I give this pick an A, for value an A, and for the player an A.