As one of the country’s most sought-after recruits in the 2019 high school class, while the NFL Scouting Combine draws a spotlight unlike any pre-draft event in the country, George Pickens, somehow, has been here before. Calm under the lights of media day in Indianapolis, Pickens put to bed any doubt of a lingering ACL injury that he suffered last March. “I expect to run in the 4.3s,” Pickens stated to the mass of media attempting to wring out information from the former Bulldog. A unique talent on the perimeter who, similar to Clemson’s Justyn Ross, enters the pre-draft process riding the memories of a freshman season in 2019, if Pickens runs anything near a 4.30 in the 40-yard dash Thursday evening, Indianapolis could explode. Although his freshman campaign remains a distant echo from where we are now, while Pickens will wait to fully showcase his athletic profile—waiting to jump in the broad until Georgia’s pro day on March 16—an attention-grabbing performance here in Indianapolis could sway the pendulum overwhelmingly enough in his favor to receive an extended hand of trust from teams moving into the spring months. With five receptions last fall—all of which came at the backend of Georgia’s run to their first-ever College Football Playoff title—it was a surprise in the first place to see Pickens compete at all considering the allotted amount of time dedicated to the rehab process—a tick over eight months removed from surgery. While modern-day miracles have players returning to action months before their initial timetable, the dynamic athletic profile that Pickens possesses could offer a team a potential day-one talent available in rounds two or three simply due to his incomplete draft portfolio. In a positional group as deep as any in the entire class, a healthy Pickens could throw a wrench into the early hours of day two. A strike zone currently occupied by Purdue’s David Bell, Penn State’s Jahan Dotson, and Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson (pass-catchers each with their own dynamic profile and elite projectability at the next level), adding another name in the fold at the juvenile stages of round two could shake up the draft even further than expected. A prospect who fails to leave any box left unchecked as a fluid vertical mover, sure-handed talent in close confines, and a player who’s consistently—when healthy—shown the ability to separate and stack opposing corners, don’t be shocked to see Pickens put his money where his mouth come Thursday evening as his spikes align on the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium. Pickens is a player often thrown under the rug during the evaluation process due to his assumed limitations and substandard production over the last few seasons in Athens. However, Pickens could prove to be everything we thought he would be when he initially entered the college landscape as a 5-star recruit back in 2019. A game-breaker at full strength, if Pickens is able to meet his personal testing thresholds, expect the former Bulldog to enjoy a healthy rise from the No. 52 spot on our TDN100 list of top eligible prospects.
- Mar 11, 2022
- Mar 11, 2022