Saturday, July 2, 2022

George Pickens NFL Draft profile 2022: Scouting report, Fantasy Football team fits, Dynasty outlook, more

The 2022 NFL Draft class is full of skill position players with sky-high ceilings and basement-level floors, but there may be no one who fits that description better than wide receiver George Pickens.

Pickens’ upside is evident in his highlight reel. The lanky speedster consistently makes the types of plays that offensive coordinators and quarterbacks alike dream of. His height and his speed combine to make him a lethal threat down the field and in the red zone. The fact that he produced so immediately as a 19-year-old in the SEC tells you just how special he’s always been as a prospect.

Pickens’ floor shows up in everything else. That long frame shows the potential to put on size, but as things stand right now, he may not be strong enough to battle NFL corners or safeties. And that 19-year-old season was the best of Pickens’ college career. The fact that he recovered from a torn ACL in time to play four games in 2021 is impressive, but he also didn’t produce like the same player after that.

Pickens profile and upside could be enough for a team to reach into Round 1 for him, but just don’t take that to mean that he suddenly has become a safe prospect. At the same time, if he somehow falls into Round 3, don’t let that discourage you about his upside.

Age as of Week 1: 21 | Height: 6-3 | Weight: 195 | 40 time: 4.47

Comparable body-type to: Robby Anderson with longer arms

  • Fantasy Football Today NFL Draft Predictions: Predict the top 10 picks of the 2022 NFL Draft to win a spot in the 2022 FFT Podcast League! Must include correct spelling of players’ names to win. REMINDER: you are predicting the NFL Draft order (April 28), not a Fantasy draft. (34 kB)  

Best Fantasy fits 

Green Bay Packers

 If everything went right, Pickens could absolutely be a true No. 1 wide receiver, and there are few opportunities available for that type of receiver better than Green Bay. If the Packers make him their first wide receiver drafted, I would go in with the expectation that Pickens would beat out Sammy Watkins and Allen Lazard to be Aaron Rodgers‘ No. 1 option.

Atlanta Falcons

Pickens and Kyle Pitts would have the potential to make up one of the most dangerous downfield duos in the league. There would be some concern about quarterback play, at least early in his career, but the likelihood is that Pickens will need time to develop anyway.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs are towards the top of every wide receiver’s wish list, at least when it comes to their Fantasy value. In the short term, Pickens would benefit from the attention Travis Kelce and JuJu Smith-Schuster would draw. In the long term, he’d have the potential to develop into Patrick Mahomes‘ No. 1 target.

Dynasty outlook

Pickens has the long-term upside of a top-12 Dynasty and redraft wide receiver, but I’d expect he’ll debut much later than that. If he’s drafted in Round 1 by the Chiefs or Packers, then Pickens will likely start as a boom-bust borderline WR2 in Dynasty, with a wide range of outcomes from there. If he falls out of the first two rounds I would expect him to come in around WR40 in Dynasty with more upside than downside. In rookie drafts, his ceiling is probably around pick eight or nine while his floor is at the two-three turn.

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Scouting report

Strengths

  • Pickens’ height/speed combination alone gives him a projectability many receivers in this class just don’t have.
  • His catch radius is enormous, even bigger than his measurables might suggest.
  • His quick recovery from ACL surgery indicates a work ethic he’ll need to fine tune his game.
  • While his body strength needs some work, his hand strength is unquestionable.

Concerns

  • Pickens would disappear for long stretches. He was held below 50 yards in half of his college games.
  • He has a hard time getting off the line against press coverage.
  • There’s not enough of him to box out in the red zone.
  • His route running and technique needs to improve if he’s going to win consistently as a No. 1 option.
  • He never earned better than an 18% target share in any season.

Stats breakdown

G

REC

YDS

AVG

TD

2021

4

5

107

21.4

0

2020

8

36

513

14.3

6

2019

12

49

727

14.8

8

Total

24

90

1,347

15.0

14

Advanced stats to know

  • 32.3% — Nearly a third of George Pickens’ total receiving yards in college came in three games against Missouri, Baylor, and Cincinnati.
  • 18.9% — Pickens Dominator score on playerprofiler ranks in the 19th percentile.

NFL comparison

It’s hard to find a perfect comp because of Pickens’ size/speed combination and lack of production. But Robby Anderson seems good for an expectation, at least. We saw Anderson as a pure deep threat early in his career and a boom-or-bust Fantasy option. He earned more volume as time went on, but he never quite hit the ceiling he could have. Pickens has more upside than Anderson certainly, but there’s no guarantee he’ll hit it.

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