George Pickens: The Next AJ Green?
Never forget that AJ Green was drafted ahead of Julio Jones. There was a good chunk of time, you could have made the argument that Green was the best wide receiver in the NFL. The former 4th overall pick from Georgia in 2011 put together monster stat line after monster stat line despite landing with Cincinnati. Oh, and having Andy Dalton as his quarterback for almost a decade. Who knows how the rest of the public views Green if him and Julio swap locations. All I know is AJ Green has earned my respect. BUT… what if I told you there’s another one coming?
It’s hard not to use a same school comparison when watching George Pickens. Is George Pickens the next AJ Green at Georgia? Can Pickens replicate the success Green had in the NFL regardless of the circumstance? All I know is if Pickens continues to grow from what we saw as a true Freshman, we’re staring at another game changing wide receiver talent.
The biggest things that stand out with the young Bulldogs wide out is his size, physicality, and ability to win balls in the air. Pickens, the former high school star from Hoover Alabama, put on a show as a true Freshman. Despite playing with noodle arm Jake Fromm who struggled all year, Pickens dominated. He might have been the only reason Fromm got drafted. That’s not a joke.
Fromm gave Pickens 49 catchable targets this year. Pickens did not drop a single ball. There were plenty of times were Pickens bailed out Fromm too. It was like watching Dalton and Green all over again. Pickens had the 3rd most catchable receptions without a drop in the country. When I watched Pickens, I just kept wondering what this man will look like without noodle arm Jake Fromm?
Pickens just has everything you look for in a true number one wide receiver. 6-foot-3, wins everything, and just looks like he glides in the air. Mike Evans had that a little bit. He never looks like he’s running but still moves fast like a gazelle. That’s what I see in Pickens. I’m not 100 percent sure just how fast Pickens is but I don’t think it’s even something to be worried about. He looks plenty fast enough.
Pickens isn’t perfect but no true Freshman is. He needs to clean up the route running a tad but that will come. There was an interception this year against LSU that was totally on Pickens. He rounded the route a bit and didn’t attack the ball allowing Derek Stingley to picked it off. We’re still getting two more years of college with Pickens. It took a generational Stingley for me to even have a talking point for trying to bring up negatives. If that’s the biggest nitpick I can make, you know the kind of star you’re getting. One that’s not nearly done growing.
I can’t wait to see what the future holds for George Pickens. Last year, I saw a lot of Andy Dalton and AJ Green. Now we get to see what Jamie Newman can bring to the table who brings a much better arm to the table. The man is just too big and too strong. Imagine if the young Georgia wide out continues to improve, watch out. Get to know the name, George Pickens. He will be a top 10 draft pick in two years. Mark it down.