Bears

NFL draft deep dive: Who is Georgia WR George Pickens?

George Pickens runs drills during Georgia's Pro Day on March 16, 2022 in Athens, Ga.

With two draft picks in the second round, the Bears will have multiple opportunities to grab a wide receiver. Out of all their needs, receiver remains the biggest one.

It would surprise nobody if the Bears used either the 39th overall pick or the 48th overall pick on a pass catcher. The question will be who is available to them. It comes down to how many receivers are selected ahead of the 39th pick.

It’s possible they could be deciding between the likes of Penn State’s Jahan Dotson, South Alabama’s Jalen Tolbert, Georgia’s George Pickens or North Dakota State’s Christian Watson.

Pickens has been a popular name for that area of the draft. He’s a reliable catcher with good hands whose stock has dropped this year, thanks to an ACL tear suffered last spring. Pickens hurt his knee during the offseason and missed more than half of the 2021 season. He returned to the field in less than a year, though, and played in the final four games of the season.

“As soon as I got hurt, I knew in my head that I was going to have a strict schedule and a routine that I was going to try to abide by and try to go by that and get back,” Pickens said at last month’s NFL Combine.

The 6-foot-3, 195-pound receiver has some length and good speed for his size (he ran a 4.47 in the 40-yard dash).

Pickens said he understands why his stock might be down after the injury. That could work to the Bears’ benefit. With no first-round pick this year, the Bears have to hope a receiver they like is available at 39 or 48. Whoever lands Pickens will land a receiver with a ton of potential. He is a deep threat who can open up the field. Look no further than his 52-yard diving reception in the national championship game against Alabama.

He plays with an edge, too, and he’s a nasty blocker. That’s not something a lot of receivers can say, but Pickens certainly can. He’s been known to throw cornerbacks onto their backs.

“Blocking has always been a part of the program, a part of the scheme of the team, and I’ve always been physical,” Pickens said. “That’s one of the things I can also add to my game besides pass catching and besides going deep. Blocking is for sure one of the things I pride myself on.”

Prospect breakdown

George Pickens, WR, Georgia

Height: 6-3

Weight: 195

College career: Pickens made an impact as a freshman in 2019, catching 49 passes for 727 yards and eight touchdowns. In eight games as a sophomore, he caught 36 passes for 513 yards and six touchdowns. A torn ACL suffered last spring caused him to miss the start of the 2021 season. He played in Georgia’s final four games. Pickens ran a 4.47 40-yard dash at the combine.

They said it: “Pickens possesses borderline elite ball skills with in-air adjustments, strong hands and an enormous catch radius. ... The routes need more polish and physicality but he has the athletic ability to become a viable target on all three levels.” –Lance Zierlein, NFL.com draft analyst

Draft projection: 2nd round pick

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for Shaw Media. He also contributes to high school football coverage at Friday Night Drive. Sean has covered various sports at the amateur, college and professional levels since 2012. He joined Shaw Media in 2016.