If you think the hype on George Pickens at training camp was going to die down anytime soon, I have bad news for you.
NFL Network’s Inside Training Camp Live had Tom Pelissero, Kurt Warner, and Scott Hansen in Latrobe to cover the Pittsburgh Steelers Wednesday. When the crew began talking about the QB competition and the passing game heading into 2022, Pelissero wasn’t shy in telling viewers who has been stealing the show.
“The star of camp so far: George Pickens,” Pelissero said on Inside Training Camp Live which was shown on NFL Network. ‘Second-round pick out of Georgia has been killing it.”
It’s no surprise that Pelissero elected to choose Pickens as his “star” of training camp for the Steelers. By all accounts, the rookie WR has made the most of his increased reps with Diontae Johnson holding in and Chase Claypool sidelined with a shoulder injury, flashing every day with highlight reel catches, willingness as a blocker, or ability to create after the catch in space.
Alex Kozora has noted that Pickens has been called out on his route running by WR Coach Frisman Jackson, needing to be more nuanced and not break too early. Still, mistakes are to be expected from Pickens who is getting his first taste of NFL football at Saint Vincent College. He was tabbed as an uber-talented yet raw prospect coming out of Georgia, having declared as a true junior with only 90 receptions under his belt. He also missed a majority of his final season in Athens due to a torn ACL he suffered in spring ball prior to the season, but managed to work his way back onto the field and play for the Dawgs down the stretch en-route to a National Championship.
Mike Tomlin noted after the selection of Pickens that there was plenty of meat left on the bone with him as a prospect who is just scratching the surface of his ability. OC Matt Canada reiterated those comments, saying that Pickens may have been the first WR drafted if it weren’t for the injury.
Obviously, Pickens needs to showcase these flashes on an NFL field, which he will get the opportunity to do here shortly when preseason action kicks off against the Seattle Seahawks August 13. Still, the continual flashes Pickens makes in camp can only be a good sign of things to come for hopefully yet another draft steal at WR for the Pittsburgh Steelers.