2021- Torn ACL
2020 - Alabama, Cincinnati, Missouri; 2021 - Alabama (CFP Title)
His ball skills jump out in film. Has very reliable, plucky hands. His elite catch radius makes him a matchup nightmare in one on one jump ball situations. Deep speed also sets him apart as he can create separation by simply running by defensive backs. Blocking is another huge plus that coaches will love. Is very aggressive as a blocker and does a great job of using his frame to his advantage to lock on and get extension on defenders. Has a ton of fight in him and shows that he knows how to use it in a controlled manner.
Position versatility is his biggest issue. Will likely be locked in on the outside with not much ability out of the slot. Also could clean up his route running. Needs to show that he can maintain body control on a consistent level and make strong breaks in his routes to create separation. Also could work on widening his release package and coming out of his stance with more urgency. Will likely run a more complex route tree at the next level. ACL injury could still be a concern but he did show that he was able to come back and compete.
A five-star prospect out of the powerhouse Hoover High School in Alabama, George Pickens shined very early in the Georgia offense. As a true freshman, Pickens led the Bulldogs in receptions (49), receiving yards (727), and receiving touchdowns (8), earning him Freshman All-SEC recognition. Started every game that he played in as a sophomore and finished with 36 receptions for 513 yards and a team-high six touchdowns. Came into his junior year with high expectations but unfortunately tore his ACL in late March. Was able to come back after surgery to play the final regular season game against Georgia Tech and in both playoff games. Despite missing bascially the whole season, he still has done enough to declare early for this year's draft and be considered a high-caliber prospect. At the next level, Pickens projects as an outside receiver that can pose as a true threat in the vertical passing game. If not for injury, I strongly believe he would be right in the WR1 conversation but could still hear his name called late first-early second round. If he can stay healthy, Pickens will be an immediate impact starter with the potential to end up being one of the best receivers in this class when we look back.
His deep speed stands out. Is able to run past defensive backs to create separation on fade routes. Has solid play strength as far as having strong hands on contested catches and as a blocker. Smooth and natural when changing direction. Would like to see him burst out of his stance faster but has the second gear to make up for it. Isn't extremely twitchy but does have enough elusiveness to make one or two defenders miss in the open field.
Route Tree Variety
Big Play Ability
Has quick feet in his release but hesitates out of his stance. There is a small pause before getting his feet churning. Could work on his release package. Didn't run a huge route tree in college. Has the speed to run by defenders which leads to separation but could work on more sharp breaks on short and intermediate routes to create separation. Body control is inconsistent. Looks fluid and can break down in his routes at some times but then there are other times when it doesn't look natural. Has very solid timing in his route breaks and shows the ability to find open spaces in zone coverage.
High Points Ball
Very strong, reliable hands. Plucks the ball away from his body and brings it in before making his next move. His length and athleticism help him have a very high catch radius. Has the leaping ability to go up and high point passes and is very good at laying out for overthrown balls in the deep passing game and maintaining control. Will win a lot of one on one jump balls but did have a few drops across the middle when taking on contact.
Run After Catch
Is a very willing, aggressive blocker. Has the ability to use his length to his ability and man handle defensive backs. Also has a lot of pop/fight in his blocking. Also showed great toughness coming back from an ACL surgery to play in the final three games of the 2021-22 season. Is a tough player overall but can be knocked off balance easily at times in his route running and is easier to bring down as a ball carrier. Has the speed to pick up extra yards in the open field and a couple moves in his arsenal to make defenders miss but isn't super shifty.
Shows good instincts when coming back to underthrown passes, diving out for ovethrows, and as a blocker. Knows when to come off his routes to become an extra blocker for his teammates. Has solid coverage recognition, showing the ability to read defenders and find openings in coverages. Has very little position versatility. Saw some reps out of the slot but has shown that he belongs on the outside.