Pittsburgh Steelers’ WR George Pickens Sends Warning To NFL

George Pickens, Pittsburgh Steelers
NFL Analysis Network

The Pittsburgh Steelers will be expecting a whole lot from wide receiver George Pickens in 2024.

The Steelers traded fellow receiver Diontae Johnson to the Carolina Panthers earlier this offseason, leaving very limited depth behind Pickens at the position.

Pittsburgh did select Roman Wilson in the third round of the NFL Draft, but Wilson is entirely unproven.

That means Pickens will have to step up in a big way next season, but the good news is that he seems prepared to do just that.

“I don’t take a lot of time off,” Pickens told Jason Mackey of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Sometimes I don’t even sleep. I’ll pull all-nighters, just thinking about football.”

While it would certainly benefit Pickens to get some shut-eye, it’s great to hear that he is very dedicated to his craft entering his third season.

The 23-year-old had a rather tumultuous season in 2023, as his behavioral issues and effort level rubbed head coach Mike Tomlin the wrong way on numerous occasions.

In spite of that, Pickens still managed to haul in 63 receptions for 1,140 yards and five touchdowns, and that was with the Steelers going through three different quarterbacks.

Now, Pittsburgh has stabilized things under center by signing Russell Wilson, so things should come a bit easier for Pickens come September.

What’s scary for the rest of the NFL is that Pickens has not even displayed his full ability just yet.

“I’d probably say 80%,” Pickens said. “I can only go off of how the quarterback plays. I can thrive more. … The yardage showed it. I should have made the Pro Bowl.”

Pickens averaged 18.1 yards per catch this past year, which led the league.

The University of Georgia product is right, too: sometimes, a receiver can only go as far as their quarterback takes them, and now, Pickens finally has a legitimate quarterback throwing him the football in Wilson. Plus, the Steelers have a new offensive coordinator in Arthur Smith.

“I feel like it can benefit a lot,” added Pickens. “With this type of mindset or scheme, my job is to just get open.”

Pickens was selected by the Steelers in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. He caught 52 passes for 801 yards and four scores during his rookie campaign.

The Hoover, Al. native has also been very durable, as he has played in every game over his first two seasons.

We’ll see if George Pickens can finally post a Pro Bowl campaign in 2024.

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