Football players all have preferences. Whether’s it’s lining up on the left or right side of the field, players are just like the rest of the world in that they have certain things that make them feel better.
According to a recent metric posted by Pro Football Focus, George Pickens posted the highest grade for any Power Five receiver when lining up in the left outside spot in 2019. The analytics-based website gave him a 90.1 mark in that spot.
LSU’s Ja’marr Chase was ranked No. 1 at two spots – right outside receiver and slot receiver. He had a grade of 88.9 at the right outside spot and a 93.3 grade when lined up in the slot. Iowa State’s Charlie Kolar was the highest graded player at tight end with a 90.3 mark.
Pickens is coming off an impressive freshman year where he caught 49 passes for 727 yards and eight touchdowns. He did all that while missing the second half of the Georgia Tech game in the regular-season finale and the first half of the LSU game the next week due to an ejection against the Yellow Jackets.
The former five-star and No. 1 prospect in Alabama saved his best game for last in the Sugar Bowl. He earned MVP honors for UGA’s 26-13 win over Baylor by hauling in 12 passes for 175 yards and a score. Pickens made a name for himself during preseason camp by making several jaw-dropping grabs. But it did take him some time to adjust to the college level as he caught his first pass in week two and went on to have an up-and-down season. One week he would have a really good game and the next he would be not so much.
Still, he’ll become UGA’s first leading receiver to return the next season since Chris Conley did in 2014. Since that time, Malcolm Mitchell, Isaiah McKenzie, Javon Wims, and Riley Ridley have all led the team in receiving but left the program at the end of the season.