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George Pickens Says He Was ‘Snubbed’ Of Pro Bowl Selection Last Year


By nature, receivers are confident in themselves. And even though George Pickens’ overall rookie numbers weren’t gaudy, he thinks it should’ve earned more national attention. In speaking with College 2 Pro’s Bo Marchionte, Pickens outlined his Year Two goals that include a Pro Bowl bid he believes he deserved in 2022.

“Year two goals are Pro Bowl and I feel like last year I feel like I got snubbed,” he said via Marchionte. “Cause there wasn’t a lot of guys in there at the Pro Bowl that excited me. Then the Super Bowl. The two bowls. A lot of RAC, run after catch. Two bowls for sure.”

Pickens finished his rookie year with 52 receptions for 801 yards and four touchdowns. A vertical receiver, he made most of his biggest plays running go routes downfield, none better than his incredible one-handed grab against the Cleveland Browns.

While Pickens’ rookie numbers with a limited route tree in a run-heavy offense are solid, it’s hard to believe they were Pro Bowl worthy. The four original names to make it last year were Tyreek Hill, Stefon Diggs, Davante Adams, and Ja’Marr Chase, all who were far more productive than Pickens. His confidence may be admirable but his argument is not.

2023 should give Pickens to increase his production. By the end of last season, his route tree and role was expanding, not used solely as a Z/vertical receiver. His slot snaps increased and he made plays from the inside, catching the game-winning touchdown to beat the Las Vegas Raiders from slot alignment.

While the Steelers will still employ a run-heavy approach, Pickens is poised to make plays from all three-levels. He isn’t nearly the raw player he was coming out of Georgia, his final season nearly entirely lost by an ACL tear, and second-year jumps are common for players in Pickens’ position.

Still, making the Pro Bowl will be tough competition compared to the four who made it last year and all the other names who will be in the mix. From his rookie class alone, New York’s Garrett Wilson could build on a quality rookie season, especially with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback.

Beyond the Pro Bowl, Pickens reiterated a desire to improve his RAC/YAC. Last year, it sat at a paltry 2.0 yards, the lowest of any player who caught 30+ passes a year ago. A more balanced route tree along with Pickens being more aggressive should improve those numbers.

He also has his eyes on the prize, a Super Bowl, though Pittsburgh just needs to win a playoff game first. They haven’t done so since 2016 but with a retooled roster and better-looking offense, they’ll compete for postseason contention in 2023.

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