George Pickens continued making plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers on Wednesday. Expectations for the rookie wide receiver are high as one of the biggest “steals” of the NFL Draft and his strong training camp is just what fans wanted to see.
Everyone talked about his capabilities to be a true X-receiver and we’ve been getting glimpses of that as of late. Perhaps the most recent example of that comes in this play in which he beats CB Cameron Sutton by going up in the air to snatch the football thrown by Mason Rudolph.
Impressive but not enough. At least, not in the rookie’s eyes.
You see, Pickens believes Steelers Nation already knows that he can do that. On Monday, he discussed how he’s aware everyone knows about the biggest part of his game.
And he’s probably right. At 6’3, he will be among the tallest wide receivers in the NFL. That’s a big reason why Pickens has been projected to be a deep threat who can play isolated ball for the Steelers offense. Indeed, it’s the first thing you think about when visualizing the former Georgia Bulldog.
However, there’s more that the second-round rookie wants to prove. He wants people to know he can run routes.
Since the moment he declared for the NFL Draft, Pickens’ route-running has been under the scouting world’s microscope. The best example of this comes from The Athletic’s Dane Brugler in his 2022 Draft Guide known as “The Beast”:
On one hand, Brugler points out that Pickens “makes tight, 90-degree cuts to square off routes” while he remains “fluid at the stem to hit another gear on post or corner routes.”
But consistency is what the Steelers’ rookie must continue to work on as he “has some wasted steps or momentum in route setup, and needs to develop better consistency,” per Brugler.
It’s fair to say Pickens has backed up his comments on the practice field, as noted in the clip below against Ahkello Witherspoon.
One thing Pickens can be grateful for is landing on a team that’s been no stranger to developing young wide receivers. The Pittsburgh Steelers have found plenty of success at the position and Pickens shouldn’t be an exception.
Featured image via Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports