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George Pickens Tabbed as Possible Steelers Breakout Star

Do the Pittsburgh Steelers have a potential breakout star in George Pickens as he enters his first season as the unparalleled top WR on the team?



Steelers WR George Pickens
Steelers WR George Pickens at practice on December 19th, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers made numerous changes to their wide receiver room in 2024. From the drastic trade of Diontae Johnson to the Carolina Panthers to cutting Allen Robinson II, the team’s wide receiver room looks different, and at this point, not for the better. Roman Wilson, a third-round rookie, is slotted as the team’s second wide receiver, and the backups include Van Jefferson, Quez Watkins, and Calvin Austin III, among many others. But George Pickens enters a massive year for him.

The third-year pro broke out last year as a significant piece of Pittsburgh’s offense. With poor quarterback play, he still garnered over 1,000 yards quickly, even if he was sometimes inconsistent. But this year, the Steelers will hope that George Pickens can step up and play a massive role in what they do. Bleacher Report believes that Pickens will take a step from just being good to superstar in 2024.

Pittsburgh Steelers WR George Pickens

Pittsburgh Steelers WR George Pickens against the Buffalo Bills, Jan. 15, 2024 – Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

“While Pickens didn’t make the Pro Bowl for his efforts, his production might be too great to ignore in 2024. This is because the Steelers, on paper, improved their quarterback situation significantly. First, the Steelers signed veteran and nine-time Pro Bowler Russell Wilson to a one-year deal. They then traded for 2021 first-round pick Justin Fields. While Wilson is expected to enter training camp as the starter, Fields will get his opportunities,” analyst Kristopher Knox wrote.

Pittsburgh seems to have at least one or two players hit that ‘breakout star’ status every year. In the past, it has been Alex Highsmith. Last year, it likely was either Pickens or rookie Joey Porter Jr., depending on your view of the term ‘breakout star.’ Regardless, Pickens might be a borderline star as it stands, but he could take the step from borderline star to bonafide star in 2024 if he can prove he’s an alpha receiver with the lack of help he may have around him.