All-Pro Safety Compares George Pickens to Randy Moss: ‘Special Player’
Pittsburgh Steelers rookie wide receiver George Pickens hasn’t received a ton of targets this year, but when he does, it’s usually a highlight reel catch. Nine times out of 10 Pickens is going to come up with a contested catch. Is it hyperbole to say that he makes Randy Moss-like grabs? It’s not a stretch, as Moss’ former teammate Rodney Harrison sees similar traits in Pickens.
“I think this young man is the steal of the draft. He reminds me of one of my teammates — Hall of Famer Randy Moss — because he’s big, he’s long and he makes a lot of big plays,” Harrison said prior to the Steelers-Ravens game on NBC’s Football Night in America.
Pickens doesn’t possess Moss-like speed, but his size and ability to win 50/50 balls are alike. Look no further to this spectacular grab in last night’s win over Baltimore. It was honestly like something from a video game.
This CATCH by George Pickens 😳 pic.twitter.com/O2D0sGA4Wf
— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) January 2, 2023
Here’s the still version of the catch. Incredible body control and athleticism.
Your weekly dose of George Pickens making an unreal catch.
Look at that extension. pic.twitter.com/IaJT5cr0vl
— Daniel Valente (@StatsGuyDaniel) January 2, 2023
Had George Pickens not suffered an ACL injury in spring practice prior to the 2021 season at Georgia, he most likely would have been the first wide receiver picked in the draft. Coupled with some character concerns, he dropped to 52nd overall and the 11 receiver selected. Among rookie receivers this year, Pickens ranks fourth in receptions (49) and receiving yards (729).
The Steelers’ passing game ranks 24th in the league, but Pickens excels at hauling in deep passes, averaging 14.9 yards per catch (second among rookie receives). Coming into Week 18, Pickens had 13 receptions of 20+ yards downfield — only Tyreek Hill and Justin Jefferson had more. That’s pretty good company to be in.
Moss is one of the greatest receivers to ever play the game. He put up a ridiculous 17 touchdowns and a 19.0 per-catch average during his rookie season in 1998. He was an extremely rare talent, but Harrison practiced every day against him in New England. So, his comment on Pickens reminding him of Moss does carry some weight.