If the opening offensive drive of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ final preseason game is any indication, then second-year wide receiver George Pickens is in midseason form.
Pickens, who wowed Steelers fans — and NFL fans alike — with his catch radius as a rookie, turned in one of the more impressive plays of the preseason in Thursday night’s preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons. On the first drive of the game the Steelers faced a 2nd-and-10 situation at the Atlanta 36-yard line. Fellow second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett dropped into the pocket and looked in Pickens’ direction, as the receiver ran a go route.
They made the connection, thanks to an incredible effort from the receiver:
On this isolated camera angle, you can see the receiver not only pull in the acrobatic reception, but also pull his left hand off the football and reach for the pylon with his right hand. Somehow he has the strength to pull off this move:
Pittsburgh scored on the very next play on a one-yard touchdown run from Najee Harris.
For his part, Pickett was 4-for-4 for 86 yards in just one drive of work. That brought to a close his preseason work, during which the second-year quarterback put up some impressive statistics:
Kenny Pickett’s 2023 Preseason Stats:
5 Drives (All TDs)
13 of 15 passing
— Steelers Depot 7⃣ (@Steelersdepot) August 25, 2023
There is some growing buzz about the Steelers this season. Kyle Brandt of the NFL Network labeled the Steelers a playoff team, ESPN’s Ryan Clark compared Pickett to Ben Roethlisberger recently, and Adam Schein of CBS Sports cautioned NFL fans not to sleep on Pittsburgh.
With numbers like this from Pickett — and plays like this from his favorite target — those bold predictions may very well come true.