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Dynasty Rookie Prospect Profile: George Pickens (2022 Fantasy Football)
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by Derek Brown | @dbro_ffb | Featured Writer
May 5, 2022
George Pickens

George Pickens has some shortcomings he will need to address to be a solid NFL wide receiver.

George Pickens was a ballyhooed five-star prospect (per 247sports), coming from an acclaimed program at Hoover High School in Alabama. He was the fifth-best wide receiver prospect, with only Garrett Wilson (second) from this draft class ranking above him. Pickens had 16 offers from major universities. He visited Auburn, LSU, Miami, and Tennessee before deciding on Georgia.

Pickens hit the ground running at Georgia as a freshman. He saw a 14.9% target share while leading the team in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. For a player with exceptional high school pedigree, this validated his talent level, as Pickens notched an 18.5 breakout age (96th percentile per PlayerProfiler.com). He earned a spot on the All-SEC Freshman team for his performance. His 2.64 yards per route run (per PFF) wasn’t mind-blowing, but it was a promising start to what could have been a beautiful analytic profile.

Sadly, after Pickens’ freshman season, his profile becomes a muddied evaluation. In 2020, while he did see his target share increase to 18.0%, his peripheral and efficiency numbers dipped. He saw his catch rate drop to 65.4%, his yards per route run slump to 1.93, and his yards after the catch per reception fall from 3.8 to 3.1. While preparing for what could have been a bounce-back campaign this past season, Pickens tore his ACL in spring practice. He made it back for the season’s final four games, but he clearly wasn’t 100%. From a macro perspective, his status as a blue-chip high school prospect and his productive freshman season at Georgia foreshadowed future success that never came. Is he a player who will see the bounce-back come to fruition as a pro? Could he be the second-round prospect who booms as one of the draft’s best values, or does he continue the letdown foretold by his 2020 season? Let’s discuss.

 

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