NFL teams will rue the day they passed on WR George Pickens
George Pickens is looking like a star in the making. The Steelers were incredibly fortunate to land him and several NFL teams should be kicking themselves.
This might be a bit premature, but I have a feeling it won’t be. George Pickens hasn’t even played in a single regular-season NFL game yet. However, I have a strong feeling that the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver is out to prove that 31 teams made a mistake by passing on him.
I was very high on the 2022 wide receiver class. I thought this was a strong group that was rich with talent in the first two rounds and I was begging Pittsburgh to capitalize on the position early. I was also a big fan of Pickens — my 37th overall player entering the draft.
After a run on wide receivers early in the 2022 NFL Draft, it was remarkable that the Steelers were somehow able to secure Pickens with the 52nd overall pick. When it was all said and done, a whopping 10 receivers were selected ahead of him this year, via Pro Football Reference.
Throughout training camp, George Pickens has been a stud thanks to his ability to effortlessly contort his body and reel in anything within his radius. This continued into his first preseason game against the Seahawks when the 21-year-old receiver caught 3 passes for 43 yards and a touchdown before Mike Tomlin decided his evening was finished.
Recently, Peter Schrager of Fox Spots weighed in on Pickens’ draft status and why it was absurd that he was the 11th receiver selected this past April. Schrager compared the draft slide of Pickens to that of Seahawks WR DK Metcalf. He was even so bold as to subtly liken this to Tom Brady on draft day.
Obviously, Schrager thinks that George Pickens is going to be a stud football player, and he’s infatuated by everything he has seen from the young receiver so far. Schrager even mocked teams like the Patriots and Packers for taking lesser talents ahead of him.
Steelers WR George Pickens will make teams regret passing on him
Obviously, Pickens needs to continue to turn heads on Sundays when the games are meaningful, but I feel very confident that he is going to make a lot of teams upset for passing on him — not to the level that teams must have been for passing on T.J. Watt, but upset nonetheless.
Some of the names selected ahead of him last season was head-scratching. I had day-three grades on players like Wan’Dale Robinson, John Metchie, and Tyquan Thornton, yet all three receivers went higher than Pickens in the NFL Draft.
In terms of buzz, no receiver has drawn more than Pickens this summer. While that obviously doesn’t mean that he’s guaranteed more opportunities or to have a better career path, I don’t think it’s meaningless either. There’s a reason Pickens has raised so many eyebrows: his play has been excellent so far.
We all knew that George Pickens possessed just about every tool you could ask for in a wide receiver, but we didn’t know he would turn heads quite so fast. It’s looking like it might not take as long as I thought for teams to regret passing on him.