The words “Odell Beckham-esque” catch have slowly come to nothing since that fateful night in 2014, and are now used to describe even a simple one-handed grab. So please take us seriously when we say this: Pittsburgh Steelers rookie George Pickens delivered an Odell Beckham-like catch.
Hell, it could have been even better than Beckham’s famous catch.
On “Thursday Night Football” opposite the Cleveland Browns, Amazon Prime viewers got to watch the rookie wide receiver haul in a one-handed, air-plucked catch while he was horizontal to the ground. Look for yourself:
Simple rendering doesn’t do the catch justice.
What you really need to see to understand the absurdity of what Pickens did is the slow-motion, alternate-angle replays. It doesn’t make sense if you look at it like this:
Or just a simple screenshot:
The catch even caught the attention of Beckham himself, who responded with lavish praise when asked which catch was better.
It doesn’t get much better than what Pickens did, although there’s reason to expect a lot more from the Georgia product in the future.
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The Steelers’ George Pickens was one of the most hyped rookies of the preseason
Despite playing for the national champion in Georgia last season, Pickens entered the NFL draft and still had much to prove after missing all but four games due to an ACL tear sustained in the spring.
Pickens rushed for just 107 yards on five catches in those four games, including the SEC championship and college football playoffs, so he didn’t have the track record teams want in an early round. Even if he were healthy, Pickens was part of a run-focused offense with plenty of other options at receiver.
After a solid NFL combine, the Steelers took Pickens in the second round of the 2022 NFL draft with their 52nd overall pick. He rewarded them with peak after peak in training camp and then preseason, making him one of the favorites in a wide-open offensive Rookie of the Year race.
Pickens hasn’t had similar success in his first two games, hauling in just 26 receiving yards on two catches, but this latest highlight will put him on the national radar no matter what number he lands Thursday.
George Pickens saw that. The Steelers could have a good one. (AP Photo/David Richard)