PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers continued their youth movement on offense, selecting Georgia wide receiver George Pickens in the second round of the NFL draft Friday night.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Pickens should help the Steelers deal with the loss of JuJu Smith-Schuster, who left for Kansas City in free agency. Pickens joins a group that includes Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool and Ray-Ray McCloud.
Pickens caught 85 passes for 1,240 yards in his first two seasons with the Bulldogs in 2019 and 2020 before tearing the ACL in his right knee last March. Pickens returned near the end of the 2021 season and caught five passes for 107 yards, including a 52-yard reception in Georgia's victory over Alabama in the national championship game.
The selection continues a generational shift on offense that began in earnest last April when the Steelers grabbed running back Najee Harris in the first round and tight end Pat Freiermuth in the second.
Pittsburgh used the 20th overall pick in this year's draft to take Kenny Pickett, who threw 42 touchdowns last season for the University of Pittsburgh on his way to winning ACC Player of the Year.
Pickens gives whomever the starting quarterback will be in Week 1 — whether it's Pickett, Mitch Trubisky or Mason Rudolph — another big target to join the 6-4 Claypool and the 6-5 Freiermuth.
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