QB Kenny Pickett spoke to the media Friday prior to the team leaving for Miami and its Sunday night matchup with the Dolphins. When asked about the ongoing chemistry being developed between he and WR George Pickens, Pickett had nothing but good things to say about his wideout, saying the two kicked things off soon after entering the NFL together.
“Yeah, we’re tight,” Pickett said regarding he and Pickens’ relationship, per official team transcript. “Just being rookies coming in together, going through everything. We went out to the rookie premiere together in Cali, going through all the things out here. We spent a lot of time together and he’s a great guy. He’s a great playmaker. I know I can put the ball up for him and he’ll make plays.”
It sounds like Pittsburgh’s first-round pick and second-round pick from this year’s draft class have really hit it off since arriving, getting familiar with each other early on after the draft concluded. Naturally, a wide receiver and quarterback should look to develop chemistry with one another. However, it’s particularly advantageous when you pair a rookie QB with a talented rookie receiver the same year to have both grow together throughout the length of their rookie deals.
We saw the Cincinnati Bengals incorporate this strategy, choosing A.J. Green fourth overall in the 2011 NFL Draft and following that up by selecting QB Andy Dalton in the second round. The two became the face of the Bengals’ offense for nearly a decade. According to Elias, Dalton-to-Green is the 12th-most prolific scoring duo of all-time with 58 touchdown connections from 2011-2019 before Cincinnati pulled the plug on Dalton at QB. I had previously compared Pickens to Green coming out of college due to the fast similarities in their body type, play style, and the fact they both repped the Georgia Bulldogs.
When asked about Pickens and his ability to make incredible acrobatic catches, Pickett reiterated the skill set that made Green one of the best in the league for years, saying that Pickens has a knack for making the spectacular catch.
“Yeah, you feel comfortable putting the ball up and having him make plays,” Pickett continued on Pickens. “He casually made the best catch I’ve ever seen; I think it was on Wednesday’s practice or something. I forget what day it was, but it was an unbelievable catch. I’ve never seen a catch like that in my life. We kind of just kept going throughout the day and I was just looking around after he made the catch and I saw other people talking and it’s kind of like status quo with him. He just does that routinely. He’s a special player.”
Pickens has taken the world by storm ever since training camp, where he made an acrobatic catch nearly every day at practice. Those impressive feats followed him to the regular season, where he has made several impressive grabs where he has elevated overtop the defender, showing off his vice-like hands as well as his leaping ability and body control to make the catch and come down with the football while in tight coverage.
Pickens became a viral sensation in Pittsburgh’s Thursday night matchup with the Cleveland Browns, making potentially the catch of the year while in coverage with Martin Emerson, as he laid out with one outstretched arm to catch a pass near the edge of his catch radius to make a play that needed to be played again on instant replay to conclude he actually caught the ball.
There’s no doubt that George Pickens has all the talent in the world to become a WR1 in the NFL. Now, it’s just a matter of Pickett and Pickens continuing to build that chemistry with one another as the offense tries to become more consistent at moving the ball down the field to score more points.