For the first time in a while, the Steelers' receiving depth is a little thin and definitely young, opening up the chance for Pickens, a second-round draft pick, to play meaningful snaps. At Georgia, Pickens collected 90 receptions and 14 touchdowns over 26 games, dazzling with plenty of big plays even after he came back from a torn ACL in 2021. He's a tall receiver with good speed, but lean and definitely one with a mean streak that got him in trouble in college. If there's a positive, it's that the Steelers are known for developing wide receivers, but it remains to be seen if he'll have a big chance as a rookie. That's why you might not see Pickens selected in many redraft leagues, but he's a lock to be a top-15 pick in rookie-only drafts and a late-round choice in long-term start-up formats.
The Steelers selected Pickens in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft, 52nd overall. Pickens (6-foot-3, 195 pounds) was a highly convincing producer at Georgia, where as a true freshman, he blazed his way to a team-leading 49 receptions for 727 yards and eight touchdowns on 77 targets (63.6 percent catch rate, 9.4 yards per target). He was off to another big season as a sophomore but tore his ACL in the eighth game, which kept him out until the final month of his 2021 junior season. Pickens fell this far largely because of his volatile on-field temperament, but his exceptional on-field results indicate he has no issues with his work ethic.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/18||New England Patriots||5||18.56|
|4||10/02||New York Jets||13||20.65|
|6||10/16||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||12||20.53|
|10||11/13||New Orleans Saints||15||20.94|
|16||12/24||Las Vegas Raiders||4||17.67|