George Pickens, WR, Georgia
Best Landing Spots: KC, CLE, PHI, INDY, LAC
If what you’re looking for is an explosive, big-bodied WR who can be a draft value this spring, look no further than George Pickens! At 6’3 and 193 pounds, Pickens offers tremendous size at the next level. He’s fast for his size (4.47 40 time) and is a natural separator. He also flashed elite-level hands and route running technique. He is going to be great on 3rd downs and in the red zone with his ability to quickly separate in tight areas.
His ACL tear is definitely looming over him, making him a bit of a risky pick. He’s not necessarily elite after the catch, but he can get yards. He shows perfect jump ball technique at times, but other times shows that he needs work in that department. He also doesn’t have a ton of college production, but that is as much the scheme and QB than anything else.
I am comfortable taking George anytime in the second in rookie drafts, and also in the late first, depending on who else is there. I’d probably take Jahan Dotson, Chris Olave, and maybe Matt Corral over him. I would take Pickens over Jameson Williams and Skyy Moore, though. Especially Williams because they both have the knee issue and I like Pickens’ tape much more.
Fantasy Football Upside: 7
- Low-end WR1 would be his best finish in my opinion.
- More likely a WR2 who has a very high ceiling week to week.
- Going to be one of those perennial undervalued and underappreciated assets.
Route Running (RR): 7
- Does a really good job selling an inside route before his break to the outside.
- Nice slide technique on slant releases with press man coverage.
- Sheds contact during route well.
- Can complete a stick jab step before a pressing DB can even get his hands outstretched—wow!
- Good with shedding contact at the line.
- Can try to run around a defender sometimes instead of just attacking—noticed this more on 9 (go) routes.
- Does a good job selling a route as deeper than it is and coming back to the football—creates just a couple more steps of separation from the defender.
- Knows when to snap the route off based on zone coverage.
- Shows ability to time his vertical route breaks perfectly, showing ability to read the defenders hips and leverage.
- He’s almost always open and it’s a shame his QB was awful.
- Runs a lot of different types of routes at Georgia.
- You’d like to see some deep route running nuances added, like change of speed or double moves.
- Does show flashes of that “hidden gear.”
- Really quick feet at the line.
- Good hip technique in creating separation.
- Capable of diving catches downfield.
- Catches almost everything thrown his way.
- Unreal concentration at the point of catch.
- Great ball tracking skills.
- Catches away from body.
- Strong hands.
Run After Catch Ability (RAC): 6
- Can be slippery in the open field.
- Quickly flips hips to north and south.
- Can explode off of his plant foot.
- Definitely has some change of direction in him.
- Needs to upgrade his vision.
- Sometimes tries to do too much after the catch.
- Really good hip technique to buy a few extra yards.
- Runs with nice physicality.
Body Control/ Contested Catch Ability: 7
- Big frame and size.
- Can climb the ladder and has a nice wingspan.
- Great ball tracking skills.
- Able to fully extend at full speed and make the play.
- Shows good balance near boundaries.
- Good rip motion after the catch to quickly secure the football from defenders.
- Has no issues with having to play physically.
- Again, really nice size, especially considering his explosiveness.
- Not afraid to initiate or take contact—looks like he quite enjoys it.
- Great ball tracking skill, especially downfield.
- Uses proper releases depending on what DB shows pre-snap.
- Finds soft spots well in zone coverage and gets there in a hurry.
- Does a good job turning into a defender when a ball is thrown poorly, which is good for trust with your QB.
- Good ability to stop what he’s doing and go find the football
- Plays with a chip on his shoulder
Possible Roles on Offense:
- George Pickens definitely has the skill set to become a team’s WR1 if his knee is okay.
- Would be a fantastic #2 on a team.
- He may start out slow following the injury he suffered while he gets back to full speed and starts to trust his knee.
- Would love to see him get some slot action at his size and with his speed
- Going to see work in the red zone—wins every way possible near the endzone
- A nice 3rd down target and can block run plays well on the outside
- Not going to be a liability in any situation.