Steelers’ George Pickens Named NFL’s Most Underrated Receiver

George Pickens, Steelers
NFL Analysis Network

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens is certainly polarizing, but it has more to do with his behavioral issues than his actual performance on the field.

Pickens is entering his third NFL season, and the talented pass-catcher has gotten on head coach Mike Tomlin’s nerves more than once.

The good news is that Pickens appeared to finally make an attitude adjustment late last season, and it played a significant role in the Steelers making the playoffs.

But even after a couple of impressive campaigns under his belt, you rarely hear anyone mention Pickens’ name when discussing the upper echelon of receivers in the league.

That’s why Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine has named Pickens the most underrated wide out in football.

At least from a Fantasy Football perspective.

FantasyPros has ranked Pickens 31st among wide receivers entering 2024, which Ballentine feels is a bit too low (and it’s hard to disagree with Ballentine).

What should we expect from George Pickens in 2024?

Pickens is coming off of a 2023 campaign in which he hauled in 63 receptions for 1,140 yards and five touchdowns. He also averaged 18.1 yards per catch, which was No. 1 in the NFL.

What’s more, the 23-year-old did all of that in spite of three different quarterbacks—all of whom were underwhelming—throwing him the football last year.

Now, Pickens will have Russell Wilson under center, and while Wilson may not be the same elite signal-caller from his Seattle Seahawks days, he still represents a better option than Kenny Pickett.

Plus, Pickens will no longer be battling for targets with Diontae Johnson, who the Steelers traded to the Carolina Panthers earlier in the offseason.

Yes, Pickens will certainly attract more attention from opposing secondaries with Johnson no longer in the fold, but he will also almost surely see a significant uptick in targets (he had 106 in 2023).

The University of Georgia product was selected by Pittsburgh in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

He caught 52 passes for 801 yards and four scores during his rookie season, demonstrating unquestionable big-play ability.

Another important nugget about Pickens is that he has yet to miss a game over his first two years in the league, so he has absolutely displayed reliable durability.

We’ll see if George Pickens can have a breakout season in 2024.

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