George Pickens

George Pickens

23-Year-Old Wide ReceiverWR
Pittsburgh Steelers
2024 Fantasy Outlook
Pickens quickly earned a reputation for making difficult deep catches after the Steelers made him a second-round pick in 2022, and last season he took things to the next level with increased contributions on short and intermediate passes. His quantity of targets 20-plus yards downfield actually dropped by eight compared to his rookie season, but he caught 11 of the 22 for 405 yards and then saw 17 more looks in the range of 10-to-19 yards and 11 more within 10 yards of the line. When all was said and done, he'd topped his rookie-year totals by 22 targets, 11 catches, 339 yards and one TD. Pickens isn't quite an athletic freak -- he posted a 4.47 40 and 33-inch vertical at 6-3, 195 -- but he's smoother than most tall wideouts and already has a long highlight reel of contested catches. The question now is whether he'll progress to true No. 1 receiver volume/production, entering his age-23 season with a new coordinator (Arthur Smith), new QBs (Russell Wilson, Justin Fields) and no Diontae Johnson. Smith has a track record of directing run-heavy offenses and inherits a unit that finished 2023 ranked 29th in pass attempts (506) and ninth in rushes (487) . Wilson's preference for throwing to the perimeter and reputation for accurate deep passing would seem to make him a good fit for Pickens in particular, and Johnson's departure is also promising given that Pickens was targeted on 27.3 percent of his routes in the four games Johnson missed last year (17-357-2 on 33 targets). Pickens is a strong bet to improve on last year's 22.2 percent target share, but it won't necessarily equate to taking the next step in fantasy football if he's cutting his slice from one of the smallest passing-game pies in the league. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
$Signed a four-year, $6.75 million contract with the Steelers in May of 2022.
Tallies 65 total yards in loss
WRPittsburgh Steelers
January 15, 2024
Pickens secured five of 11 targets for 50 yards and rushed once for 15 yards in the Steelers' 31-17 wild-card loss to the Bills on Monday afternoon. He also lost a fumble.
ANALYSIS
Pickens had serviceable numbers overall and co-led the Steelers in receptions while setting the pace in targets. However, it was largely a frustrating afternoon, beginning with a fumble on the Steelers' 29-yard in the latter portion of the first quarter that was eventually confirmed via replay, and that led to a touchdown on Buffalo's first play after gaining possession. Pickens also was the intended receiver on Mason Rudolph's fourth-down pass with 4:53 remaining that ended in an incompletion but also included what appeared to be a missed pass interference call that would have given the Steelers new life via a first down. Pickens finished the regular season with an impressive 63-1,140-5 line across 17 games despite subpar quarterback play, so he could be in for an even bigger season in 2024 if there is more stability under center.
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NFL Stats
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Fantasy/Red Zone Stats
See red zone opportunities inside the 20, 10 and 5-yard lines along with the percentage of time they converted the opportunity into a touchdown.
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Advanced NFL Stats
How do George Pickens' 2023 advanced stats compare to other wide receivers?
This section compares his advanced stats with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average. The longer the bar, the better it is for the player.
  • Air Yards Per Game
    The number of air yards he is averaging per game. Air yards measure how far the ball was thrown downfield for both complete and incomplete passes. Air yards are recorded as a negative value when the pass is targeted behind the line of scrimmage. All air yards data is from Sports Info Solutions and does not include throwaways as targeted passes.
  • Air Yards Per Snap
    The number of air yards he is averaging per offensive snap.
  • % Team Air Yards
    The percentage of the team's total air yards he accounts for.
  • % Team Targets
    The percentage of the team's total targets he accounts for.
  • Avg Depth of Target
    Also known as aDOT, this stat measures the average distance down field he is being targeted at.
  • Catch Rate
    The number of catches made divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Drop Rate
    The number of passes he dropped divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Avg Yds After Catch
    The number of yards he gains after the catch on his receptions.
  • % Targeted On Route
    Targets divided by total routes run. Also known as TPRR.
  • Avg Yds Per Route Run
    Receiving yards divided by total routes run. Also known as YPRR.
Air Yards Per Game
84.4
 
Air Yards Per Snap
1.61
 
% Team Air Yards
40.0%
 
% Team Targets
22.2%
 
Avg Depth of Target
13.4 Yds
 
Catch Rate
59.4%
 
Drop Rate
2.8%
 
Avg Yds After Catch
6.5
 
% Targeted On Route
19.6%
 
Avg Yds Per Route Run
2.11
 
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2023
2022
2023 NFL Game Log
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2022 NFL Game Log
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Snap Distribution / Depth Chart
Snap Counts
Snap %
Pittsburgh SteelersSteelers 2023 WR Snap Distribution See more data like this | See last season's snap counts
#% of Team Snaps

94687%
76770%
61356%
38836%
12712%
50%
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Receiving Alignment Breakdown
See where George Pickens lined up on the field and how he performed at each spot.
Detailed
Grouped
Side
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2023 George Pickens Split Stats
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Measurables Review View College Player Page
How do George Pickens' measurables compare to other wide receivers?
This section compares his draft workout metrics with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average.
Height
6' 3"
 
Weight
200 lbs
 
40-Yard Dash
4.47 sec
 
Vertical Jump
33.0 in
 
Broad Jump
125 in
 
Hand Length
8.75 in
 
Arm Length
32.38 in
 
Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring George Pickens See More
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Yesterday
The third installment of our top-150 Roundtable Rankings didn't see much movement, but things are about to heat up.
Stat of the Day: 50 Stats, 50 Takes
15 days ago
Jim Coventry offers quick fantasy takes on some illuminating stats for various players, including why Breece Hall should be the second running back off the board.
RotoWire Roundtable: 2024 Top-150 Fantasy Rankings Update
17 days ago
There were few surprises in the second installment of our top-150 Roundtable Rankings. Christian McCaffrey is still on top. Check out our latest composite rankings now.
ADP Analysis: Comparing June ADPs Between Underdog, DraftKings and Drafters
24 days ago
DraftKings offers the best value for stacking Jayden Daniels and Terry McLaurin, while Drafters and Underdog tend to have top running backs available at later ADPs.
ADP Analysis: Tracking Best Ball ADP Movement from May through June
31 days ago
Wide receivers were the big ADP gainers over the past month, with Jaylen Waddle leading the way after signing a huge extension late in May.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2023
2022
A 2022 second-round pick, Pickens bounced back from a slow, injury-addled finish to his college career at Georgia and caught 52 passes for 801 yards and four touchdowns for the Steelers in his rookie season. He made a number of highlight-reel grabs and showed a particular affinity for contested catches, with the downside being that he struggled to gain separation and drew only 84 targets in 17 games. The Steelers seem to be expecting a step forward given their lack of noteworthy WR signings this offseason, and there's something to be said for not needing the smoothest route-running skills when you're 6-3 with 4.47 speed. Pickens, Diontae Johnson and TE Pat Freiermuth set up as the primary targets for second-year QB Kenny Pickett, who mostly struggled as a rookie but also showed progress as the year went along. It remains to be seen if Pickens can improve his agility and route-running now that he's more than two years removed from the ACL tear he suffered during a 2021 spring practice at UGA.
If you look at his college stats, you might think Pickens was a reach in the second round. If you remember how he was viewed a few years ago, you'd think he was a huge steal. The five-star recruit had 727 yards and eight TDs as a true freshman, followed by 514 and six in eight games as a sophomore, before an ACL tear last spring limited him to four appearances (and 107 yards) at the tail end of his junior season. Pickens could've returned to Georgia in 2022 to rehab his draft value, but he did a decent job of that anyway between the late-season return and his respectable showing at the combine (4.47 40). Pickens weighs only 195, quite thin for a 6-3 receiver, and he turned 21 shortly before the draft. He thus seems most likely to start off as Pittsburgh's third or fourth WR, but there's room to eventually make a move on No. 2 wide receiver Chase Claypool, the hyper-athletic 2020 second-rounder who disappointed last season.
More Fantasy News
Minimal production in Week 18
WRPittsburgh Steelers
January 8, 2024
Pickens wasn't targeted and rushed once for three yards during the Steelers' 17-10 win over Baltimore on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
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Another big performance
WRPittsburgh Steelers
December 31, 2023
Pickens recorded seven receptions on nine targets for 131 yards in Sunday's 30-23 win over the Seahawks.
ANALYSIS
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Quiets critics with career game
WRPittsburgh Steelers
December 23, 2023
Pickens caught four of six targets for 195 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's 34-11 win over the Bengals.
ANALYSIS
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Leads team in targets
WRPittsburgh Steelers
December 16, 2023
Pickens recorded three receptions on seven targets for 47 yards in Saturday's 30-13 loss to the Colts.
ANALYSIS
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Team-high reception total in loss
WRPittsburgh Steelers
December 7, 2023
Pickens secured five of six targets for 19 yards in the Steelers' 21-18 loss to the Patriots on Thursday night.
ANALYSIS
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Latest Fantasy Rumors
Being incorporated into slot
WRPittsburgh Steelers
June 14, 2024
Pickens has been working out of the slot at times during the offseason after playing on the outside almost exclusively during his first two NFL seasons, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
By his own admission, Pickens is pleased with the development, noting he considers himself "a total receiver" and emphasizing he enjoys slot work as much as he does lining up on the perimeter. Pryor notes the deployment of the team's clear-cut top receiver in the slot is one of several wrinkles being introduced by new coordinator Arthur Smith, with the goal being to line the speedy Pickens up against linebackers and safeties more often.
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