Steelers WR Could Have Record-Breaking Season

One NFL analyst has a bold prediction for the Pittsburgh Steelers star.
Nov 26, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens (14) celebrates his first down reception during the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 26, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens (14) celebrates his first down reception during the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports / Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
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PITTSBURGH -- If the Pittsburgh Steelers will be successful in 2024, their offense needs to improve immensely from 2023. One way to find more offense is for George Pickens to take another step forward in his progression. The Steelers believe they have a superstar in Pickens, and it's only a matter of time for that to come to fruition.

The Steelers aren't the only ones who can see Pickens doing great things in 2024. Former NFL scout and current analyst Bucky Brooks shares a similar opinion of Pittsburgh's number one pass catcher. In a recent story of his he named Pickens as a potential candidate to break the single-season receiving yards record held by Calvin Johnson. Discussing his reasoning why, Brooks was both extremely complimentary of Pickens' development and high on his potential with new signal callers.

"Though the Steelers will adhere to a run-centric offensive approach under new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith, Pickens could light up the stat sheet as the big-play specialist on the perimeter. The third-year pro has averaged nearly 17 yards per catch for his career, including a league-leading 18.1 yards per catch in 2023 with a revolving door at quarterback. With Russell Wilson and Justin Fields potentially being significant upgrades over their predecessors, the Steelers’ top playmaker could see his numbers spike as the focal point of a passing game committed to pushing the ball down the field."

Calvin Johnson set the single-season record for receiving yards in 2012. He hauled in 122 receptions and a remarkable 1,964 receiving yards. In the decade-plus since, there have been several receivers knocking on the door of Johnson's record. Last year, Tyreek Hill and CeeDee Lamb both registered more than 1700 yards. The year prior, Justin Jefferson had 1809 receiving yards. It's only a matter of time until one of the elite receivers in today's game surpasses Johnson's mark.

For Pickens, getting anywhere close to 1,964 yards would be a monster season. During his rookie campaign, he had a respectable 801 yards. In year two, he surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the first time and finished with 63 receptions for 1,140 yards. In year three, Pickens is slated to receive a higher volume of passes as the number one option. A bump in receiving yards would make sense as well, but an additional 900 yards? That might be a bit of a stretch.

Nonetheless, the fact that Pickens is being mentioned like this shows his stock is rising around the league. Being mentioned in the same breath as Tyreek Hill, Justin Jefferson, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and Amari Cooper in any capacity is an honor. For the Steelers, they don't expect 2,000 yards receiving. They'll take Pickens establishing himself as a true number-one receiver, anything else is extra.

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Jacob Punturi

JACOB PUNTURI

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