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2024 NFL Draft

Analyst Thinks Steelers Should Go After George Pickens-Like WR in Draft



Steelers WR George Pickens

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a massive need at wide receiver following the Diontae Johnson trade to Carolina last month. They’ve made depth signings with Quez Watkins and Van Jefferson, but they don’t have a true No. 2 wide receiver on the roster currently. As it stands now, they have a bottom-tier wide receiver corps.

A first round selection is certainly possible, but this year’s draft is loaded at the receiver position. The second and third round has been a sweet spot for the Steelers at receiver for years.

CBS Sports’ Emory Hunt thinks Florida State receiver Keon Coleman would be a perfect Day 2 pick for the Black and Gold. He also believes Coleman has similar traits to George Pickens.

“So one guy I have in mind, absolutely, is Keon Coleman, because he’s cut from the same cloth as George Pickens,” Hunt told Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on the Chipped Ham and Football podcast. “I love guys that go up there and attack the football and do things in a spectacular manner. And Coleman to me is someone that’s just a spitting image of Pickens.”

Coleman is the 14th-ranked wide receiver in this year’s class by Derrick Bell of Steelers Now. Bell thinks Coleman needs to fine-tune his route-running at the next level. Pickens has often been criticized for not creating separation, too, but he’s better at it than given credit for, in my opinion.

“He came in at 14th on my receiver rankings and my concerns with his game are largely around one glaring weakness: he just does not separate,” Bell wrote. “If you pop on his tape last season, he was unable to generate any space for himself against ACC cornerbacks and with his lack of speed, modest lower body flexibility and lack of polish in his route running, it’s tough to see that changing in the NFL. I still see a path to him being a productive, useful player as a ‘power slot’ at the next level but the hit rate on the contested catch archetype of receiver has been painfully low. Hopefully both players go on to lengthy, successful careers but the process for how both players are being evaluated and valued seems like off.”