Georgia Bulldogs wide receiver George Pickens (1) makes a long first down catch in the first quarter at the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022. (Curtis Compton/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

Georgia’s George Pickens dishes on A.D. Mitchell’s star potential, Carson Beck’s passing velocity

ATHENS — Receiver George Pickens left his mark at Georgia with his dynamic playmaking, most notably a clutch 52-yard catch in CFP Championship Game.

There wasn’t a ball thrown in Pickens’ direction that the 6-foot-3, 195-pounder didn’t fight to catch. When it came to blocking, the Hoover, Ala., product seemed to take joy in knocking down defenders.

Pickens’ talents and confidence are unmistakable, and his resiliency was proven by how effective he was after coming back from a torn ACL suffered last March to play in the final four games of this season.

“I’ve always been confident and had one of those mindsets where I can’t be stopped and want to prove everybody wrong,” Pickens explained. “I think I’m going to leave a big legacy when it comes to receivers. I feel I left a good trail for others to pick up on.”

Rising sophomore A.D. Mitchell has been the next man up at the “X” position Pickens occupied his first two seasons.

Pickens said fans will see even more from Mitchell moving forward.

“He already has some stuff you can’t coach,” Pickens said. “He has the skills, the mindset, the routes, the speed, he’s got it all.

“He’s the next one upcoming.”

Fifth-year senior Stetson Bennett has been tabbed the starting quarterback according to coordinator Todd Monken, but Pickens’ choice to throw to him at Pro Day was rising redshirt sophomore Carson Beck.

Pickens’ NFL Draft stock is somewhat vague, but he shared “there are a few teams heavy on me,” opening the door that he could work his way into the first round.

Pickens has been compared to former Georgia wide receiver great and NFL star A.J. Green since arriving in Athens, and he continues to embrace that comparison.

“I’ve talked to A.J. Green before, he’s a real laid-back guy like me,” Pickens said, asked if he felt he could follow in Green’s footsteps at the next level.

“He’s a good receiver; I feel like I could do pretty much the same things. He had also a great quarterback (at UGA), Matthew Stafford, and that boosted his career and Stafford’s career, they fed off each other.”

Pickens said he’s ready to feed off whatever NFL quarterback he’s paired with and take his came up another level.

Teammate Lewis Cine, a safety who spent the past three years working against Pickens, described Pickens as “gold.”

“George is a diamond chip,” Cine said, “that’s what a team will be getting with him.”

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