George Pickens may have made catch of the year, perhaps catch of the decade, with his sensational 36-yard grab in Week 3 against the Cleveland Browns. A spectacular, horizontal grab that has to be seen to be believed. You’ve seen it a hundred times already, but it’s worth one more look.
But for Pickens, that A+ grab was one of many. Speaking to reporters after the game, he says he’s made plenty better than that.
“That’s probably like seven,” he told Steelers.com’s Teresa Varley when asked where that Thursday grabbed ranked.
So what could possibly beat that? Pickens said he regularly made plays during practice at Georgia that could top what he did against the Browns.
“UGA practice, for real. I made some crazy catches. One of them is on YouTube. You’ll probably see it. But a lot of them are undiscovered…I made crazier catches in college.”
Here’s the one Pickens seems to be referring to. Posted in 2019, Pickens makes a crazy one-handed snag basically off the DB’s back while securing the ball to the ground. Take a look.
Part of what made Pickens so attractive as a prospect were his hands and ability to make tough grabs look easy. Despite having relatively small hands, just 8 3/4 inches, he has a strong pair of mitts with fantastic hand-eye coordination and body control, as he displayed last Thursday night.
Throughout the summer, he made a host of spectacular plays in training camp, though they all paled in comparison to what he did in that Georgia practice or in Week 3’s game. It’s an obvious reason why he needs to get more involved in the offense. Despite playing well over 70% of the offensive snaps, he’s only been targeted 12 times through three games. His involvement increased against the Browns, finishing with three targets, but he went quiet after that sensational grab a week ago.
For a Steeler offense searching for big plays, they’ll need Pickens to come up large over the rest of the season. To date, he’s the only Steelers wide receiver with a catch longer than 25 yards, and needed to make an all-time grab just do it. Two other players, TEs Pat Freiermuth and Zach Gentry, have catches longer than 30 yards, but both came in Week 1 and can’t be relied upon to do so consistency, especially not Gentry.
While Pittsburgh’s offensive problems are clear, Pickens’ incredible grab is a bright spot on a tough season. We’ll see if he can make a catch that’ll crack the top five before his rookie season ends.