Now that we’ve seen the two in action together in their rookie seasons, Steelers sophomores quarterback Kenny Pickett and wide receiver George Pickens had some type of next-level chemistry. Early in the season when Mitch Trubisky started for Pittsburgh, it was very clear how Pickens felt about the whole thing, without him even saying a word.
As Pickens grew aggravated with Trubisky, it was clear Pickett was his guy. Pickens instantly became more of a threat with Pickett at the helm, and both opened eyes down the stretch making Steeler fans wonder, do we have something special here?
Flashes Of Greatness
Last season, Kenny Pickett was the catalyst of four game-winning drives. Coincidentally, the man he took over for was known for that. Big Ben is tied for third all-time in game-winning drives with 53. Only 49 more and Pickett can catch him. Pickett found a way to get things under control when it matters most, in the fourth quarter.
Pickens also found himself as a big help to Kenny in those situations. The game-winning drives against the Colts and Raiders were fueled vastly by the Pickett-to-Pickens connection. Why do the two seem to have such a good connection? Potentially because they came into the league together and get to experience the rocky road of finding your identity in the NFL together.
“George can be a top guy in the league. No doubt. His floor is so high based on his natural ability.” Pickett said about Pickens on the Green Light Podcast with Chris Long.
Steelers Dynamic Duo
Pickett and Pickens both burst on the scene last year, making it seem like the Steelers nailed rounds one and two on the 2022 draft. They just might have. Pickett had a promising year. He may have thrown nine interceptions, but go watch the tape on them. Pickett posted a 63% completion rate to go with 2,404 yards and seven passing touchdowns. Pickett also proved valuable by moving the ball with his feet, rushing 55 times for 237 yards and three touchdowns. Pickett was money on the QB sneak as well, moving the chains to get a fresh set of downs 23 times.
Pickens was a guy that Steelers fans just knew was going to be special when they saw him in Training Camp at Latrobe. His unreal body control mixed with length and hands sets up for a solid receiver in the NFL. The Steelers just need to find a way to get him the ball more. 3.1 receptions is not enough for a guy of Pickens's caliber. Despite the passing offense not being as fluent as they like, Pickens could still gather 801 receiving yards on 52 receptions and four receiving touchdowns, the only Steelers Receiver to score one last year. He averaged 15.4 yards a reception too. Like Pickens said himself, “Just put it in the sky”.
Pickens even made one of the most jaw-dropping snags of the season in primetime against Cleveland, going completely horizontal to make the one-handed grab against Martin Emerson, who traded trash talk with Pickens on social media this offseason, even though Pickens has been his father going the whole way back to college in the Georgia vs. Mississippi State matchup in 2020 when Pickens posted eight receptions for 87 yards and a touchdown on Emerson’s head.
Big Shoes To Fill
The dynamic duos the Steelers have harbored over the years have come in all shapes and sizes. The Pickett and Pickens connection seems very reminiscent of Big Ben and Santonio Holmes in his short, legendary time in town. Pickens feels similar to Holmes, right? A tall receiver with some speed to him and incredible body control and feel around the sidelines. We haven’t had much of a chance to see what Pickens can do with the open field ahead of him, but the sky is the limit for this young and budding duo.
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