The Steelers could have a massive steal from the draft in George Pickens and he could win the Rookie of the Year award.
The Steelers have been consistently good with how they evaluate the receiver position over the past decade plus. It seems like they can find diamonds in the rough after the first round and many teams around the NFL envy it. Their most recent steal might be from this recent draft class with George Pickens being their second-round selection.
The team got him after losing a couple of players during the free agency process like James Washington, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Ray-Ray McCloud. The receiver room was depleted of depth and a starter. The draft rolled around, and Pittsburgh focused on adding to the position with Pickens and another rookie that looks like he could make an impact when healthy, Calvin Austin III.
Steelers have a lot of weapons to cover on offense
The club accomplished its task of bringing in a ton of talent into the receiving position this past offseason. They got an immediate impact with Pickens entering the fold and have Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool returning as the other two starters. That is a good starting trio, especially with Claypool sliding into the slot role to use his size as a mismatch.
This is going to be a tough task for opposing defenses to figure out how to cover on a routine basis. All three bring their own unique skillset and Pickens is only going to get better as the season goes on. Add these players and Pat Freiermuth into the mix, and this is going to cause a lot of issues for secondaries to cover.
George Pickens put the NFL on notice during the preseason
Training camp and the preseason was a successful debut for Pickens into the NFL. He was able to show the coaches early and often that they made the right gamble by selecting him in the draft. Many worried about his health after a knee injury, but he has proven the doubters wrong.
This rookie receiver was the most consistent in training camp when it comes to constantly make plays on offense. He translated that over to the preseason games where he stood out among the other players on the field. The Steelers might have one of the best rookies on their roster for the 2022 season.
Steelers could have an internal battle for the award
The odds for Pickens to win the Rookie of the Year award is tied for the best right now. He is tied with fellow rookie classman, Kenny Pickett. Both could benefit from each other playing, but Pickett seems like he will still have to wait to see some in-game action.
That leaves Pickens with the great opportunity in front of him to become a top receiver in the league. He could push to become one of the best like Ja’Marr Chase did during his rookie campaign, which lived up to the hype and then some. Pickens could become one of the best at his position if he can translate everything he has done thus far into regular season action and continue to grow his game.
The Steelers have found a playmaker with Pickens after taking him in the 2022 NFL Draft. He could put up monster numbers and win this award for an outstanding rookie season.