5 wide receivers New England Patriots could take in the 2022 NFL Draft

Chris Olave #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)
Chris Olave #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
George Pickens #1 of the Georgia Bulldogs (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots draft target No. 3: George Pickens

George Pickens is one of the most polarizing wide receivers in the draft. Some evaluators think he could be a late first round/early second round pick. Others think he could fall all the way to the back of the third round or maybe even the beginning of the fourth. Regardless, Pickens is a receiver who has a lot of potential, and the Patriots may be able to snag Pickens with one of their mid-round picks if the board falls their way.

Pickens is a unique player in the sense that his best season came as a true freshman when he reeled in 49 passes for 727 yards and eight touchdowns. Unfortunately, injuries derailed the rest of his career, as he had to have surgery on a torn ACL that held him out for most of his junior year. Pickens returned for the end of the Georgia Bulldogs season, but he only caught five passes for 107 yards.

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Pickens is a bit of an unknown at this point, and like a lot of the receivers in this draft, he’s going to be attempting to make a return from an ACL injury. Pickens is a big target (6’3, 200 lbs), but he’s lanky and isn’t known for his speed, so it may make it tough for him to create seperation from opposing cornerbacks. Plus, he’s still coming back from a very big injury; nobody really knows how much that’s going to impact him moving forward.

When healthy though, Pickens has the potential to be a dominant receiver. His physical profile is exactly what you are looking for when it comes to an outside receiver, and if he adds a bit of muscle, he should be able to compete with top level outside corners. He has fantastic hands, can make catches on contested passes, and he can get open at all three levels of the field.

When he’s on the field, Pickens is one of the top receivers in this draft class, as he has an unbelieveably high ceiling. The problem is that’s far from a given; he’s injury prone, has had off-the-field issues pop up, and given how N’Keal Harry, who is a fairly similar build as Pickens, has flamed out, Pickens may not be the pick for the New England Patriots. But if he falls to pick No. 54 in the second round, he may be worth taking a chance on.