ATHENS — Pittsburgh rookie George Pickens is on the path to NFL stardom, making the sort of highlight-friendly plays Georgia teammates saw every day in practice and fans saw occasionally in games.
Pickens helped the Steelers to a 32-25 win over Seattle on Saturday night at Heinz Field, reeling in a 9-yard catch from Mitch Trubisky on the team’s first play of the preseason, sparking a game-opening TD drive.
Two series later, Pickens was making highlights with a 26-yard TD grab in the corner of the end zone from Mason Rudolph, showing off the elite footwork that made him a 5-star prospect when he signed with UGA out of Hoover (Ala.) High School.
Fact is, Pickens possesses elite receiver skillsets with uncanny body control and hands, which mixed with his passion for football and competitive fire make him a dynamic force in the right offense.
“He’s standing out, he’s making plays, and he’s definitely a guy you want to go to,” Trubisky said after Saturday night’s game at Heinz Field. “Any time the ball is in his area, it’s a big play opportunity.
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Monken didn’t mince words when asked about Georgia not having a 1,000-yard receiver since Terrance Edwards in 2002.
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“If we had George, we would’ve had a 1,000 yard receiver last year because he has a unique skill set,” Monken said.
Pickens always seemed to come up big when the Bulldogs needed him, making a big splash with Jake Fromm in a Sugar Bowl win over Baylor his freshman season.
Pickens had 12 catches for 75 yards and a TD, truly an offensive MVP performance, in a game where Smart had left no less than a dozen former starters and injured players at home.