Steelers, George Pickens

May 26, 2022; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens (14) participates in organized team activities at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

With a full week of training camp in the books, 5 NFL rookies are turning heads right away and earning more attention than the rest.

The second week of training camp is well underway, and many teams across the league are enjoying a day off after the intensity that came with the reintroduction of pads this week. Every year, the rookie talent drafted into the league comes with a great deal of anticipation, and with a full week of practice in the rear view mirror, now is the perfect time to check in on which members of the 2022 class are turning heads out of the gate.

There are plenty of defensive players who have received public praise from their coaches, and we got to see the first-overall pick, Travon Walker, notch his first sack in Thursday night’s preseason opener, but here, the focus will be on five offensive players.

NFL training camp: 5 rookies turning heads

1. Steelers WR George Pickens

The 2022 National Champion Georgia Bulldogs WR1, George Pickens, was a polarizing figure ahead of the NFL Draft. He had limited production to offer scouts in comparison to many of his classmates. His standout freshman season in Athens, highlighted by eight touchdowns, was followed by a shortened sophomore campaign with a late season shoulder injury that put him on the shelf for two games. His junior year was even shorter after he tore his ACL in spring practice.

He worked his way back to health, however, in time for the 2022 National Championship game, where he hauled in a diving catch to seal the deal and bring the title home to Georgia.

Given that story, the one thing that was for certain about George Pickens was his desire to compete. Stories and concerns arose about character flaws, but it all felt nit-picky ahead of the draft. Frankly, given the player that he is, and the mentality that he brings, sliding to the Steelers at No. 52 overall may have been destiny. He just feels like a vintage Pittsburgh receiver, and he’s putting that notion on display in camp.

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