Steelers Select WR, DE in Day 2 of NFL Draft

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Steelers Select WR, DE in Day 2 of NFL Draft

Pittsburgh, Pa-Day 2 of the NFL Draft saw the Pittsburgh Steelers making picks on both sides of the ball. In the 2nd Round, they made their second consecutive pick on offense as they selected WR George Pickens from Georgia, last year’s National Champion.

 

“Obviously super excited about George [Pickens], the draft pick we got. Coming out of last year, getting early draft prep, we thought he was the best wideout coming out, he had a tough injury through the spring, but battled to comeback and played late in the year for them [Georgia].” Said Steelers Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada “We were able to go to his pro day, coach [Mike] Tomlin, coach [Frisman] Jackson and Mr. [Kevin] Colbert were there, and he was impressive beyond belief at his pro day. He showed no signs of any injury or anything that way, so we’re really excited to be able to get him at any point in the draft. We were fired up about that, we need him on our team.”

 

Pickens (6-3,200) played three seasons at Georgia and caught 90 passes for 1347 yards and 14 TDs. His best season was his freshman year (2019) in which he caught 49 passes for 727 yards and 8 TDs. He also had 12 catches for 175 yards and a TD in the Sugar Bowl, earning MVP honors. His 12 grabs tied a UGA bowl record and were the most by a Bulldog receiver in seventeen seasons.

In 2021, Pickens tore his ACL in March, but chose to stay in school and help the Bulldogs as they were en route to a Championship. He also caught a key first-quarter pass for 52 yards in the College Football Playoff (CFP) Championship Game vs. Alabama.

 

“I think that the one intangible that you can give him a lot of credit for is coming back and playing.” Said Canada “I don’t have the exact date, I had it back there a little bit ago looking at it, but I mean eight and a half plus or something from injury, to coming back and playing. He didn’t have a huge role, but he came back and played late, had some significant plays, and fought to get back out there and play. To me, that’s a great show of his character right there.”

In the 3rd Round, the Steelers selected DE DeMarvin Leal from Texas A&M.

“Just here to talk about the guy we just drafted, DeMarvin Leal from Texas A&M. Really liked him as a football player.” Said new Defensive Coordinator Teryl Austin “Really versatile, loose body, upper body, plays multiple positions across the line. We think he has an opportunity to be a good player for us when he gets in here, but he does offer some versatility, he’s got the frame to get a little bigger and he does some pass-rush wise and run-game-wise that we really like and value here.”

 

Leal (6-4, 283) played three seasons for the Aggies. For his career, he made 133 tackles, 25 tackles-for loss, 13 sacks and an interception.

“I think initially we’ll probably look at him at an end spot. It all depends.” Said Austin “He has some flexibility, but if you’re playing base defense, you can look at him as an end. When you’re playing in your nickel defense, you may look at him at a different position. That’s all to be determined as we get going.”

In 2021, Leal Started 12 games, finished the season tied for fifth in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) with 8.5 sacks and tied for ninth with 12.5 tackles for loss, leading the Aggies in both categories.

Notes: In the 3rd Round, Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder went to the Atlanta Falcons, Liberty QB Malik Willis’ went to the Tennessee Titans and QB Matt Corral of Ole Miss went to the Carolina Panthers.

Ray Porter Jr July 2021

Please e-mail Ray at rayporterjr72@gmail.com

Follow him @RP2872_Jr on Twitter

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