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When will WR prospect George Pickens be able to play?

Talented Georgia wideout George Pickens has first-round talent, but an ACL tear suffered last spring could keep him waiting until Day 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star RobertScheer / USA TODAY NETWORK

A former five-star recruit who exploded onto the scene as an SEC All-Freshman, George Pickens offers No. 1 receiver upside and Year 1 big-play ability. At 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, Pickens looks like a traditional “X” wideout and has the speed (4.47-second 40-yard dash) to get over the top of defenders. His biggest play of the 2021 season came in the College Football Playoff National Championship when he hauled in a 52-yard bomb down the seam to set up the Goerge Bulldogs in plus territory on their first scoring drive.

Injury details

While Pickens doesn’t come off an injury directly, a torn ACL suffered last spring cost the wide receiver most of the 2021 season. He finished the campaign with just five catches for 107 yards, nearly half of which came on his long catch during the national title game.

Timetable for return

Pickens played in Georgia’s final game of the season and participated in the NFL Scouting Combine. Accordingly, NFL teams don’t have as many concerns about his ability to take the field now. Rather, they wonder if Pickens will deal with more injuries down the line.

Will it impact draft slot?

Pickens’ ACL tear and lack of production as a senior will likely keep him out of the early portions of Day 1 of the draft. A receiver-needy team like the Green Bay Packers or Kansas City Chiefs could bite near the end of the round, but it wouldn’t come as a surprise if Pickens lasted until the second.