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Steelers’ George Pickens dubbed NFL’s 9th-most ‘undervalued’ WR in 2023-24 season

The second-year receiver was among the NFL’s best in “dollars per yard” last season.

George Pickens #14 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts after catching a pass for a first down during the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field on December 31, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images

In his second year with the Steelers, wide receiver George Pickens didn’t enjoy the Pro Bowl season he and many fans anticipated. Still, he showed noticeable improvement from his rookie year, emerging in 2023 as the Steelers’ leading wide receiver statistically and recording his first career 1,000-yard season.

In fact, Pickens improved on all of his rookie season marks from 2022 to 2023, recording 63 receptions for 1,140 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns in his second year in the league.

Those marks were good enough to place George Pickens among the top NFL receivers in a metric devised by using data from Pro Football Reference, in which receivers’ total yards (receiving and rushing) are divided by their cap hit that season to determine the “dollars per yard” for each player.

Pickens’ 1,158 total yards to $1,534,586 cap hit ratio in the 2023-24 season was good enough for the ninth-best mark among NFL receivers, with Pickens’ dollars-per-yard sitting at $1,419.

Pickens only ranks below receivers Josh Downs, Demario Douglas, Rashee Rice, Tank Dell, Rashid Shaheed, Nico Collins, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and Puka Nacua (first place with only $515 per yard) in the metric. However, only Nacua, St. Brown, and Collins recorded more yards than Pickens in the 2023-24 season.

Although George Pickens still has more developing to do in his NFL career, there’s no denying that he’s a great deal for the Steelers while he remains on his rookie contract. Pickens will be a key aspect of the Steelers’ 2024-25 offensive attack as Pittsburgh enters the season with a new offensive coordinator.