Steelers beat writer Chris Adamski believes WR George Pickens is in position to play a “significant role” by the end of the 2022 season. Patience might be key here, as he's coming off a March 2021 ACL tear. (Pickens, however, managed to appear in 4 games with Georgia last year.) While his size (6’3, 200), speed (4.47 forty) and early breakout age (18.5) signal a potential difference-maker, targets will be tough to earn early on. Current 2022 WR projections have him down for 63 targets.
Steelers WR George Pickens caught 4 of 6 targets for 83 yards and a TD in Sunday's loss to the Bengals. He had 2 other targets wiped out by penalties, 1 an offensive hold and the other a defensive PI. Pickens also dropped a 2nd-half deep ball that would have added significant yardage to his line. WR Diontae Johnson matched Pickens' 4 catches but tallied just 21 yards. Next comes a potential pass-funnel matchup with the Colts and then the soft Atlanta defense.
ESPN's Brooke Pryor says the Steelers are "likely to push the ball down the field more than in recent years." That would obviously be good for the fantasy football upside for everyone in the passing game (except maybe RB Najee Harris), but it would be an especially positive development for rookie WR George Pickens and 3rd-year WR Chase Claypool. Pickens has generated seemingly nonstop buzz in camp, while Claypool has displayed his downfield talent through 2 pro seasons. Both look attractive in reserve territory of fantasy football drafts.
"If the first three practices are any indication, George Pickens is going to be a huge factor in this [Steelers] offense," ESPN's Brooke Pryor tweeted on Friday. It reads a little hyperbolic, but Pickens has been creating consistent buzz from multiple Steelers beat writers early in camp. And we loved him as a prospect, so we wouldn't be surprised to see him make a significant rookie-year impact. Highlight Pickens as an intriguing late-round flier in fantasy drafts.
Steelers beat writer Chris Adamski described WR George Pickens as the “clear WR3” early in training camp. As expected. Pickens’ raw talent has flashed early on, but it’ll likely take something close to a flawless performance over the coming weeks to overtake Chase Claypool. Pickens remains an intriguing redraft stash and best ball flier.
Steelers OC Matt Canada commented on rookie WR George Pickens. “He can go down the field, he can make plays, he goes up and gets the football… we were impressed with his hands -- all those things you like about a wideout,” Canada said. “But I think probably for me sitting here, I think that [returning from a torn ACL late last season] said a lot about his character. He wanted to be part of that team, he wanted to be part of that championship and he fought to come back.” Pickens declared himself 100% healthy earlier this month. His 2022 path to targets isn’t clear, but it's easy to see him carving out a decent-sized role as the season develops. He’s currently our WR90 in redraft.
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