One of the most glaring needs for the Chicago Bears this offseason is finding reliable, if not top-tier wide receivers for QB Justin Fields to throw the ball to in 2022. With the NFL Combine underway, NFL draft experts are starting to connect prospects to teams and Chicago has been connected to one wide receiver in particular: Georgia’s George Pickens.
ESPN’s Jordan Reid recently discussed the Bears’ need for a playmaker on the offensive side of the ball and with general manager Ryan Poles stating the team will be “selective” in free agency, Reid believes taking Pickens in the second round makes sense. Pickens, who declared for the draft early as a Junior out of Georgia, tore his ACL last March costing him nearly all the Bulldogs’ national championship winning season. He returned in November and posted 5 catches for 107 yards in 4 games for Georgia.
While his numbers don’t pop off the page, two of those receptions went for over 40 yards — showing his explosive playmaking ability. Pickens is known for being a well-rounded athlete who prides himself not only on his ball skills but also his blocking, like you can see here in the CFP National Semifinal against Michigan:
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound wideout has mentioned in several interviews that he believes his game will translate well to the NFL, citing Georgia’s style of practices and going up against NFL-caliber talent. As for someone he looks up to? It just happens to be another free agent wide receiver the Bears have been linked to: Davante Adams.
As for more on Pickens’ game, check out the analysis from NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein:
Lanky perimeter wideout with exciting ball skills but in desperate need of additional play strength and a clean bill of health. Resilient to make it back so quickly after an ACL tear but needs to show quick-cutting ability for route-running. Pickens possesses borderline elite ball skills with in-air adjustments, strong hands, and an enormous catch radius. However, he fails to put defenders on his hip and command the catch space to make his work less cluttered. The routes need more polish and physicality, but he has the athletic ability to become a viable target on all three levels as a likely Day 2 draft pick with a little wider gap between ceiling and floor than NFL teams might like.
If Pickens can show he is healthy, that elite talent may just be what the Bears are looking for when they jump on the clock at Pick 39 in the second round.
Make sure to check out our Bears forum for the latest on the team.