Chiefs NFL Draft Match: Georgia WR George Pickens visits the top 30

LikeKansas City Chiefs prepare for2022 NFL Draftin Las Vegas from 28.-30. April, we are looking at some of the players the team could be targeting with its 12 options: 1st round (29 and 30), 2nd round (50 and 62), 3rd round (94 and 103), 4 Round (121 and 135) and Round 7 (233, 243, 251 and 259).


The Kansas City Chiefs have been clear when it comes to their wide range so far this season. They signed a one-year contract with Juju Smith-Schuster and signed Marquez Valdes-Scantling on a three-year contract. Despite these agreements, the rulers still need a valid number 1 wide device for 2022 and beyond.

On Wednesday, the Chiefs with the Georgia Bulldogs’ excellence George Pickens came to visit to take a closer look at him.

If we’re talking about pure talent and potential, for my money, I do not think there is a more powerful player in this draft.

Background

Pickens stands 6 feet and 3 and weighs 195 pounds with 32 and 3/8 inch arms and has the size and length the NFL covets. Pickens was a five-star rookie who came from Hoover High School in 2019. He was number 4 in the country’s high school and number 24 overall.

As a true freshman (in 2019), Pickens received 49 receptions for 727 yards and eight touchdowns. In 2020, Pickens followed up his freshman campaign with 36 passes for 513 yards and six touchdowns in just eight straight games. Pickens missed a considerable amount of time in the second year due to an injury to his upper body.

On March 24, 2021, Pickens was injured again when he tore his hoof during spring training. The injury sidelined Pickens for eight months, causing him to miss most of his junior campaign.

In February – on the NFL Combine – Pickens ran a 4.47-second 40-yard run, putting in a 33-inch vertical jump and a 125-inch wide jump.

Film evaluation

Drafting Pickens does not come without risks. He has been struggling to stay healthy. But the results when he has been on the field have been off the list. I do not remember when I saw the possibility of body control in the air that Pickens has.

He sacrifices his body and gives everything he has to find a way to pull every shot thrown in his path, which could explain why he is struggling to stay healthy.

I do not think there is a better delivery in the draft in terms of pure talent.

This game was only four games away from his return due to his ACL injury. When Pickens comes off the line and strikes his second gear, it’s hard to feel the long-term effects of his injury.

He gets rid of the line well and sells the possibility of breaking off the way to the sideline just enough for the corner man to respect the possibility before he stretches out his arm to keep space and turns the way back up the field. Watching Pickens lay out for the ball is a thing of beauty, the extension and abandonment he does with it is an art of movement.

It’s almost a premise in the NFL, that if you’re going to be a wide receiver no. Not to the extent that you have cancer in the locker room or untrained, but in the appropriate doses. You want a guy who will line up for every game with the hope of dominating the man standing in front of him.

There are questions about Pickens’ development. In his first game after injury, he was sent off for a fight with Georgia Tech defender Tre Swilling.

You can not behave like that on the football field, especially when you have not played for eight months. Pickens needed all the repetitions he could get to get his knee back to full strength.

Seeing him grab another player by the face mask and slam his head against the wall worries about his character.

To top it all off – while warming up for his professional day, Pickens received a response from his head coach for not practicing the basics properly. Then Pickens tried to grab with one hand, which elicited this response from his coach, “Keep this for tomorrow.”

I think it’s not too much to read here. Pickens was excited to appear before the NFL Scouts and wanted to show them what he could do. That said, what scouts really want to see is a guy who takes the situation seriously and listens to his coaches.

Red flags to the side – there are probably only a handful on earth with the athleticism, concentration and ability to go up and catch this one-catch against Cincinnati.

Pickens points at the ball way and uses his body control in a different way to turn in the air and attach the ball to the defender’s back and bring it into his body (suddenly making sure he gets down to the pitch).

When people talk about catch radii, this is what they are referring to.

In this play, Pickens is set against a potential cornerback in the first round, Roger McCreary from Auburn. Before the snap, Georgia runs back James Cook out of the fullback and leaves McCreary alone in the press coverage of Pickens.

Pickens is faked inside and puts McCreary on his heels for a split second, which is all he needs to get a clear release on the outside. Once he’s stepped on McCreary, Pickens just needs to run under the pass and pull it in.

Alabama’s Deonte Lawson does his best to get his hands on Pickens’ hair and stick him on the crawl line, while Pickens plays through the contact.

Initially, Lawson gets help, but the other defender turns around to cover the way, leaving Pickens one against Lawson, who he already has two steps on. Pickens find the soft spot in the area to facilitate the benefits.

Many young recipients waste steps as they step out of their breaks – either stuttering or skipping steps to gain momentum. With each extra step you take, you sacrifice possible separation from the defender.

In this play, Pickens begins to push slightly to the edge before planting his left foot hard while digging into his right foot to push off and accelerate. The result is that cornerback Josh Jobe turns around and is left in a one-man country. Pickens made a great second attempt to get up the field and retrieve the first one down.

If there’s one thing Chiefs widescreen has been lacking in recent years, it is to have a player with strong hands. When you look at Pickens, the ball rarely changes when it comes in contact with his palm. In the play above, Pickens not only wins the 50-50 ball, but it passes through the defender who is trying to free the ball.

Pickens is a walking highlight of the reel, but the play above might be his best of all his eye-catching reel. The defender gets hit when he throws, which causes him to throw a ball into the goal.

Although the defender put his hands in Pickens’ face and put his arm over his neck, Pickens uses his superb body control to cut down and play on the ball.

How he fits in with the Chiefs

Photo: Todd Kirkland / Getty Images

Pickens has the size and length to create a big game in any attacking system. He has the speed to stretch the course and makes difficult fishing seem to be routine. If the rulers are looking for cheap alternatives to the inflated salaries of elderly widowers, Pickens checks a lot of the squares.

The point

Pickens arrives with his red flags. His problems on the pitch, along with his injury history, make him anything but a safe object. During his three years with Georgia, he failed to live up to the lofty expectations of his fans.

Of all the top talent in this draft, I would say that Pickens is the most volatile from an investment standpoint. If you told me that after a few months of working with the Chiefs training team that Pickens will be stronger and more durable and continue to be a perpetual All-Pro, I would say I could see that happen.

But if you said too, he’s going to get in trouble off the field and be injured 80% of the career and had a hard time getting up and making an impact because of it; That would not surprise me either.

The potential is there for Pickens to be one of the best players in football. When you watch him in a movie, there is no weakness in his game beyond his ability to be on the field.

If the Chiefs end up choosing Pickens, it will be because they liked what they heard when they met him this week, and if Andy Reid signs for it, that’s good enough for me.

You do not get the opportunity to acquire such excellent skills every year in the draft. If Pickens is still present when the Chiefs pick at 29, leave.

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