The 2022 NFL Draft is absolutely loaded at the wide receiver position. The number of incoming pass-catching prospects with the potential to make a profound impact in the passing game at the next level is endless. The film supports that statement, and Thursday’s NFL Scouting Combine results do, too.
The collective group of receivers put on an absolute show at Lucas Oil Stadium. North Dakota State’s Christian Watson posted some of the best results we’ve ever seen by recording an 11-foot-4 broad jump and 38.5-inch vertical before proceeding to run the 40-yard dash in a blazing 4.36 seconds. Ohio State’s Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson were as advertised while further cementing their statuses as first-round prospects. Memphis’ Calvin Austin III displayed his breathtaking potential by running a 4.32 and posting an 11’3″ broad jump. Austin and Watson vaulted themselves into the second-round conversation.
Thursday’s testing results revealed that the impending draft class possesses several athletic freaks with sky-high potential. With so many jaw-dropping performers in attendance, it would be easy to allow Georgia’s George Pickens to get somewhat lost in the shuffle. That would be a shameful occurrence.
Pickens deserves his flowers for Thursday’s underrated performance. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Pickens ran the 40-yard dash in 4.47 seconds, which qualifies as an excellent time for his mammoth size. Pickens then recorded a 10-foot-5 broad jump, another result that deserves proper notice and appreciation.
Allowing Pickens to fly under the radar would unfortunately line up with his tough-natured journey to the 2022 NFL Draft, but you’d be the only one missing out by sleeping on his talents. Once considered one of the more electric receivers in the nation, Pickens suffered a torn ACL injury during spring practices in March of 2021. While Pickens spent the majority of the latest college football season rehabbing from the devastating setback, the likes of Jameson Williams, Treylon Burks, and Drake London were showcasing themselves as the top draft-eligible pass-catching prospects in the country. Pickens miraculously returned in time for Georgia’s regular-season finale against Georgia Tech and proceeded to partake in the Bulldogs’ National Championship triumph over Alabama by recording a crucial first-quarter 52-yard reception.
Pickens is healthy at the opportune moment. He’s ready to shine throughout the remainder of the pre-draft process and his Thursday testing results reflect his willingness to attack the proceedings in extremely impressive fashion.
Several wide receivers are going to fly off the board within the first three rounds and Pickens certainly deserves to reign supreme amongst that group. Pickens’ film study indicates an excellent athlete that possesses the consistent and haunting ability to win vertically and track the ball appropriately on deep-developing routes. Pickens makes for an incredibly difficult assignment in man coverage. He’s capable of eating up grass in a moment’s notice while attacking leverage, a trait that allows him to quickly eliminate the cushion shown by opposing defensive backs. Pickens is a natural and smooth hands-catcher that routinely secures the ball away from his body while contorting his imposing frame mid-air when necessary.
This class of receivers is to be appreciated, admired, and enjoyed. In addition to the names mentioned earlier, Cincinnati’s Alec Pierce and Western Michigan’s Skyy Moore are two fellow receivers that tested in shocking fashion on Thursday. There’s a receiver for every pass-catching-needy team in the NFL. Pickens is an exciting and ascending member of that incoming group.
- Mar 11, 2022
- Mar 11, 2022