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NFL Analyst Greg Cosell: George Pickens Top WR in 2022 NFL Draft



Steelers WR George Pickens

On a recent podcast with Ross Tucker, longtime NFL analyst Greg Cosell raved about Steelers’ second-round pick George Pickens, calling the 11th receiver selected in the draft the best wide receiver in this 2022 NFL Draft.

“George Pickens, to me, based on purely tape, and I know there were other issues with George Pickens, which is why he was not a first-round pick, I thought overall that he was the best receiving prospect in this draft class, based solely on tape,” Cosell said on Ross Tucker.

Pickens, who stands at 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, checks all the boxes when it comes to height, weight and speed. At the NFL Combine, Pickens ran a blistering 4.47 in the 40-yard dash.

“Big, physical, can run,” Cosell said of Pickens. “Played in the SEC. Came in the SEC as a true freshman and was a dominant wide receiver.” Pickens had 49 receptions for 727 yards (14.8 average) and eight touchdowns in his freshman year at Georgia in 2019.

Cosell mentioned that teams had first-round grades on Pickens, but as he alluded to, the red flags surrounding Pickens prevented him from being a first-round pick. Pickens played in just four games in 2021 after suffering an ACL injury in spring practice. So, there were some concerns about his knee, but the bigger issue was his maturity.

In his freshman year, Pickens was ejected from a game for fighting Georgia Tech cornerback Tre Swilling as Georgia went up 38-7. Pickens didn’t even play in the first half against Georgia Tech, as he was suspended for a violation of team rules. There was also an incident in 2020 where Pickens squirted water at Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano when he ran out of bounds on the Georgia sideline, which cost the Bulldogs a penalty. Cosell thinks Mike Tomlin is the perfect head coach to rein Pickens in and mentor him.

“I think that he’s in a very good situation with Mike Tomlin. So, I’m very curious to see how Pickens does,” Cosell said.

Following the selection of Pickens in April, Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada Canada said the Steelers were “impressed beyond belief” with his performance at the pro day. Canada also praised Pickens for coming back from his injury and helping Georgia capture a national championship over Alabama.

“Hs showed valor coming back,” Canada said. “That was a great show of his character there. I think that shows a lot about him.”

Canada also revealed that the Steelers thought Pickens was the best wideout coming out when the team conducted early draft prep for 2022.

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