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Analyst Doubts George Pickens’ Ability to Be No. 1 WR



Pittsburgh Steelers WR George Pickens

The quarterback position and offensive coordinator role for the Pittsburgh Steelers have both drastically improved this offseason. Those two aspects should bode well for third-year wide receiver George Pickens. The potential for an All-Pro leap is certainly there.

NFL Network lead analyst Daniel Jeremiah has one major concern with Pickens, however. He’s not sure if Pickens is a true No. 1 wide receiver.

“I think when you look at George Pickens, I think he best complements as a number two who’s going to give you the big explosives,” Jeremiah said on his Move The Sticks podcast. “But I think it’s going to be a little bit inconsistent, a little bit up and down. I think he profiles perfectly as a number two receiver there.”

Jeremiah thinks it would be wise for the Steelers to acquire a star wide receiver to take some pressure of Pickens.

“And then they had some role players, you know, Van Jefferson role player. I think Roman Wilson kind of uses a gadget guy, jet sweeps, things like that. I think they’ll know how to use him. But I do think that of these teams, man, Pittsburgh Steelers, they have the room for it, both money wise and position wise, here for a number one to bring in the room,” Jeremiah said.

Steelers WR George Pickens

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens during minicamp on June 13, 2024. — Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Steelers have been heavily linked to Brandon Aiyuk throughout the offseason. It seems unlikely that general manager Omar Khan would give up a boatload of draft capital to acquire him. Aiyuk reportedly wants $30 million per year also.

Khan also said he likes the trajectory of the wide receivers room. Offensive coordinator Arthur Smith and receivers coach Zach Azzanni don’t seem worried about the depth at the position either.

“They do have it, and they’ve been really really good at developing their own. But having that one guy, an established veteran, that can come in and maybe slide into the number one role while Pickens is kind of serving that apprenticeship might be something that the Pittsburgh Steelers want to do,” Jeremiah said. “Because remember, they want to run the football and they’re trying to revive Russell Wilson and Justin Fields’ career. At some point, you still want playmakers on the perimeter that can help all of those things be accomplished.”