WR George Pickens Named To NFL’s 2023 All-Underrated Team By Bleacher Report

When you think of someone that is considered underrated, you often associate a lack of hype and general excitement about them relative to the rest of those they are in comparison with.

For Pittsburgh Steelers fans, WR George Pickens is the hot commodity in the WR room, coming off a productive rookie campaign where he left us all awestruck after making numerous acrobatic catches look rather routine.

However, Pickens’ hype outside of Steeler Nation isn’t the same as it is with Yinzers, being a part of a rookie WR class that had Garrett Wilson, who win Offensive Rookie of the Year last season, as well as Chris Olave, who like Wilson managed to go over the 1,000-yard mark in his first NFL season.

Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report recently published his NFL’s 2023 All-Underrated Team, listing a player at every position that he feels are being slept on, excluding former top-10 draft picks as well as current rookies from the list. When it came to the most underrated WR heading into 2023, Moton chose Pickens as a player who is capable of taking a huge leap in 2023 along with QB Kenny Pickett.

“Anyone who watches Pittsburgh Steelers football should prepare to hear announcers talk about the budding connection between Kenny Pickett and George Pickens in the upcoming season,” Moton wrote. “Last season, Pickens hauled in 52 passes for 801 yards and four touchdowns, which included a 102-yard performance against the New York Jets’ third-ranked pass defense in Week 4. He scored in two of the last three games of the campaign, which is likely a result of his developing rapport with Pickett. Assuming Pickett looks more comfortable in the Steelers offense, Pickens has a chance to finish the season within the top 15 across multiple receiving categories.”

Pickens was listed over wide receivers such as Elijah Moore of the Cleveland Browns, Jakobi Meyers of the Las Vegas Raiders, and Van Jefferson of the Los Angeles Rams, who were also others considered.

We saw Pickens’ talent on full display last season, getting the better of proven corners like the Ravens’ Marlon Humphrey at times as a rookie last season. Considering the overall lack of passing volume and scoring Pittsburgh’s offense had last season, Pickens should be able to take a notable step forward in terms of production should Pickett take a step forward himself and throw for more yards and TDs in 2023.

Pickens does have a couple of things going against him from completely breaking out this season. He needs to become more than just a one-trick pony after running vertical routes all the time last season. He also is in a crowded pass-catching room with Diontae Johnson, Allen Robinson II, Calvin Austin III, Pat Freiermuth, and Darnell Washington all expected to see their share of targets.

Still, the cream rises to the top, as the saying goes, and Pickens has the talent to become one of the premier playmakers in the league. We will see if the Georgia product can make that leap and improve as a well-rounded receiver as well as if the opportunities will be there for him to post WR1 numbers this season. Regardless, one should reasonably expect Pickens to crack the 1,000-yard mark in 2023 while tacking on seven to eight TDs as well for a successful sophomore campaign.

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