Steelers fifth biggest winner: George Pickens
Let me be clear upfront, you could easily make the argument that George Pickens had the best training camp overall. The second-year receiver picked up where he left off as a rookie. He has some of the best hands I have ever seen, and his body control is second to none. It wasn’t a shock to see him snag so many difficult passes with ease.
The reason he only finds himself fifth on this list is due to expectations. Pickens entered camp entrenched as the starter at receiver, and everyone knew the type of catches he was capable of. He hasn’t shot up the depth chart, as his role on the team figures to be the same even after a successful training camp period.
The reason Pickens lands on this list is that, in addition to his strong showing in drills, Pickens also showed a lot of development in areas that he lacked as a rookie. One of his main issues as a receiver was his lack of diversity in routes and his ability after the catch. He showed both of those things in his touchdown catch against the Buccaneers and flashed that in camp.
While his calling card will still be his ability to win deep, Pickens has shown progress as a receiver. I expect a big year out of him not just because he can make insane catches, but because he can run a more complete route tree and be more than just a one-dimensional threat. He may not have shot up the depth chart, but he certainly had a strong showing in training camp.