NFL Draft rumors: George Pickens gaining steam as first-round option for Lions
As the Detroit Lions consider draft options at wide receiver, George Pickens seems to picking up some steam.
If not for a torn ACL in spring practice last spring, George Pickens may have cemented himself as a 2022 first-round pick during his final season at Georgia. He was able to return to action late in the season, with five catches for over 100 yards in four games of limited action.
The NFL Combine was going to be important for Pickens in terms of showing his agility was all the way back. He did not disappoint, with a 4.47-second 40-yard dash, a 33-inch vertical and a 125-inch broad jump (10-feet, 5 inches). The knocks on him would be a slender frame (6-foot-3, 195 pounds) and hands that may be tabbed as small (8 and 3/4 inches) if he played another position.
The Detroit Lions will definitely have wide receiver on their radar late in the first round/early in the second round of April’s draft, with two picks within three selections (No. 32 and No. 34). Pickens has put himself in that conversation, and the way he talked about blocking stood out at the combine.
George Pickens gaining steam as first-round option for the Lions
Pickens is definitely a prospect on the rise coming out of the combine. To that end, new mock drafts from Ian Cummings of Pro Football Network and Jeff Risdon of RealGM (and Lions Wire) have the Lions taking Pickens at No. 32.
"Cummings: Measuring in around 6’3″, 195 pounds with arms over 32 inches, Pickens ran a 4.47 40-yard dash. He also logged a 33-inch vertical, and he has a 125-inch broad jump in the 84th percentile. Pickens is a playmaker with excellent body control and ball-tracking ability downfield. But he’s not just a contested-catch threat. He has enough speed to extend spaces, and he also flashes impressive hip sink and twitch as a route runner for his size. Throw in his tenacious blocking attitude, and Pickens looks like a Lion.Risdon: Could be Jameson Williams, could be Jaquan Brisker, could even be Matt Corral. But Pickens so perfectly fits what new Lions OC Ben Johnson described as his ideal wideout during a Combine media breakout session that he gets the nod here."
In another mention of Pickens’ blocking, albeit while saying he didn’t give him to the Lions at No. 32 in his mock, Kyle Meinke of MLive had a nice punch line.
"I gave Georgia wideout George Pickens strong consideration for them here because of his extraordinary speed and catch radius, not to mention he would block his own mother if she were lined up across from him."
“…not to mention he would block his own mother if she were lined up across from him.” Does that sound like Dan Campbell’s kind of player? Pickens is obviously talented, but his mentality appears to be a great match for the Lions as well.