His recovery from a serious injury limited his playing time last season, but if the medicals check out, George Pickens has the potential to emerge as one of the best, if not the best, wide receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft. Big and explosive, Pickens possesses all the tools necessary to be a legitimate No. 1, provided he's healthy.
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George Pickens Draft Profile
A big, explosive receiver, Pickens played at less than 100 percent last season coming off a torn ACL in spring practice, but he has flashed tremendous talent when healthy. He is a long receiver with broad shoulders and could probably pack even more muscle onto an already impressive frame. He’s a twitchy athlete who accelerates quickly at the line of scrimmage and has the long speed to run past defensive backs. He also has outstanding agility and change-of-direction skills for a bigger receiver, with the ability to create separation at the short and intermediate levels. He thrives in contested-catch situations, where he’s exceedingly competitive and has the strength and ball-tracking ability to dominate in those scenarios. That competitiveness also shows up in catch-and-run situations.
Health is the biggest question mark. Along with recapturing his long speed, he’ll have to begin trusting his knee on cuts. He could stand to add nuance, a better understanding of how to separate rather than relying on his contested-catch skills. He has a history of picking up post-play flags.
Medicals will determine just how high Pickens goes in this draft, and some will be turned off by his fairly pedestrian production in Georgia’s run-heavy offense. But his physical traits and his intensity on the field will translate nicely to the next level. He has the highest ceiling of any receiver in this class.
Final Grade: 1st Round