4 Steelers poised for monster breakout seasons in 2023

Steelers, George Pickens
Steelers, George Pickens / Joe Sargent/GettyImages
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2. WR George Pickens

Few young players are sure to get Pittsburgh Steelers fans more excited than George Pickens. During his first NFL season, the flashy wide receiver proved to be a human highlight reel thanks to his utter dominance and ability to bully defenders at the catch point.

This is a trait that fans shouldn't expect to go away anytime soon. Pickens has been making contested spectacular catches since his high school days, and he should be one of the best to do so in his era in the NFL. The rookie recorded a whopping 19 catches in traffic last season.

This is both good and bad, depending on how you look at it. While Pickens can reel the ball in through traffic with the best in the league, we need to see him develop as a route-runner and create more separation. If he's not able to do this, he might not see a major increase in targets in his second NFL season.

If he is able to expand his route tree and sell his head fakes, however, Pickens could eventually develop into a true number one, go-to receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The fact that he just turned 22 years old is a great sign that the arrow is only going to be pointing up, and he's clearly one of the biggest breakout candidates for this team in 2023.