5 realistic Steelers draft targets to pair with George Pickens at wide receiver

These five wide receiver options are clearly on Steelers draft radar.
South Carolina v Georgia
South Carolina v Georgia / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

Since trading Diontae Johnson to the Carolina Panthers, the Pittsburgh Steelers found themselves with a gaping hole at the wide receiver position opposite George Pickens. The vacancy caused NFL Draft experts to get on board with mocking a receiver to the Steelers in the first round.

Considering the other needs on their roster, it seems unlikely Pittsburgh will be willing to spend the 20th overall pick on a wide receiver. However, we have some convincing evidence that this receiver could come early on Day 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Based on Pittsburgh's NFL Combine meetings and Top 30 pre-draft visits, here are five Steelers draft targets at wide receiver who could be paired with George Pickens in 2024.

1. Xavier Legette, South Carolina

Of all the names on this list, Xavier Legette is the most logical choice for several reasons. Legette's physical play style and body type fit exactly what Arthur Smith has looked for over the years on offense. In fact, Legette's body type compares favorably to his number one weapon in Tennessee, A.J. Brown (who was traded to the Eagles when Smith took the head coaching job in Atlanta).

At 6'1'' and 221 pounds, Legette has the frame to hold up as a blocker and can out-muscle smaller defensive backs in traffic. Legette also stands a solid chance of being available when Pittsburgh is on the clock with the 51st overall pick in the second round. Pairing him with Pickens would give the Steelers a duo of receivers who can bully smaller defensive backs at the catch point.

2. Ricky Pearsall, Florida

Ricky Pearsall is a very different type of receiver than Legette, but the Steelers have shown ample interest in drafting him on Day 2. Like Legette, Pearsall was a one-year wonder in college who didn't get off for big production until his senior season.

Pearsall is much lighter than Legette at just 189 pounds, but he has tremendous athletic traits that Mike Tomlin and Omar Khan value and can win at every level on the field. Pearsall is almost certain to be available in the second round, and he could even fall until the first of Pittsburgh's third-round picks because of the depth at wide receiver in the 2024 class.

3. Keon Coleman, Florida State

Keon Coleman was once talked about as a potential top-10 pick in the draft, but he has seen his draft stock plummet over the past few months. The young Florida State WR prospect has youth and catch radius on his side, but his inconsistencies, lack of elite college production, and 4.61 40-yard dash will have teams thinking twice about spending a high pick on him in the NFL Draft.

Despite his lack of speed at the NFL Combine, Coleman showcased his soft, natural hands in the gauntlet drill. The Steelers could overlook the poor timed speed to take a player who fits the mold of what they are looking for in a second-round receiver if he's still available. Coleman shares a lot of similarities with Pickens when it comes to play style.

4. Roman Wilson, Michigan

Roman Wilson isn't as big as some of the receivers the Steelers have been interested in during the pre-draft scouting trail. At just 5'10 3/4'' and 185 pounds, there are questions about where he fits best in the NFL and whether or not he will need to be a slot receiver only.

Still, Wilson is a silky-smooth mover with deceitfully fast 4.39 speed and soft hands. He wasn't asked to run many routes in college as Michigan focused on the running game, but he was one of the stars at the Senior Bowl. Wilson could be a potential Diontae Johnson replacement for the Steelers that would be a nice complement to George Pickens, and they will get a shot at him on Day 2 of the NFL Draft.

5. Troy Franklin, Oregon

I'm not the biggest Troy Franklin fan, but the Steelers have expressed some interest in the former Oregon deep threat with a formal visit at the NFL Combine. Franklin weighed in at just 176 pounds, and his 4.41 speed was a bit disappointing compared to what he was expected to run.

Franklin isn't the most consistent at the catch point, but he can really pick up speed down the field and give Pittsburgh a deep threat in the passing game. Once thought of as a potential first-round pick, Franklin could be a WR candidate the Steelers will have their eyes on in Round 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft.