With as many needs as the Chicago Bears have, it would be hard for them to go wrong, regardless of which positions they pick Friday night. But the one player who could drastically change how the team looks going forward is Georgia wide receiver George Pickens.
Pickens is the complete package: size, speed and even blocking ability (something that will likely be important to the Bears). He would provide the Bears and Justin Fields with a big target (six-foot-three) on the outside who can get deep and make plays after the catch. When is the last time the Bears had a receiver like that?
Pickens led Georgia in receiving as a freshman and a sophomore and scored 14 touchdowns in his first 20 college games. He averaged 15 yards per catch for his career, despite some questionable quarterback play.
George Pickens is a WR prospect in the 2022 draft class. He scored a 9.33 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 176 out of 2613 WR from 1987 to 2022. https://t.co/QGryvf6kwr #RAS pic.twitter.com/wEwbva841u
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 23, 2022
There seems to be little question that Pickens is one of the 20 most talented players in this draft. The only reason the Bears have a realistic shot at him is because of injuries. He missed most of his junior season after tearing his ACL in March. He came back at the end of the year but wasn’t quite up to speed. He also missed two games as a sophomore.
There have been some reports of character questions with Pickens, though those remarks could also have come from teams hoping he falls — believe very little of what you hear this week.
This wide receiver draft has been highly touted, but it’s mostly a hodgepodge of one-dimensional players. There are a lot of small, fast guys and big, slow guys. Pickens is one of the few who combines size, speed, production and polish — most of the other players with size and speed are raw. The NFL makes the mistake of letting really good wide receivers drop to the second round every year. This year that player is Pickens.
The Bears will still need to add linemen, but part of the benefit of hiring offensive line experts is that they shouldn’t need to spend early picks to build a quality line. If Pickens falls to the Bears, they’ll have a rare opportunity to grab a top talent without using a high pick.
They simply can’t pass him up.