George Pickens has come on strong and had a productive second NFL season. One that he thinks was worthy of the Pro Bowl. In a late-night Instagram story, Pickens sent out this photo of a mostly black screen but the words “F the prow bowl ass league” in the bottom left corner.
Here’s what Pickens sent out around 12:30 AM/EST Thursday.
Pickens was not one of the three Steelers selected to head to Orlando. LB T.J. Watt, S Minkah Fitzpatrick, and ST’er Miles Killebrew were the three selected. At wide receiver in the AFC, Pickens lost out to Miami’s Tyreek Hill, Cleveland’s Amari Cooper, Los Angeles’ Keenan Allen, and Cincinnati’s Ja’Marr Chase.
The second-year wide receiver already expressed his belief back in May that he was snubbed of a Pro Bowl selection last year for his rookie season of 2022. That season, he caught 52 passes for 801 yards and four touchdowns. Those numbers did not exactly stack up to the four who were originally selected, with Hill and Chase joined by Stefon Diggs and Davante Adams.
While Pickens is uber-talented and highly efficient averaging more than 18 yards per reception, he lacked the volume and overall production of those other names. Receiver is a tough position to crack, especially in a crowded AFC field, and Pickens had largely played in a poor passing offense that didn’t have the caliber of quarterback throwing to him like most of those other names. Even Cooper, who has caught passes from four quarterbacks this year, has found a connection with Joe Flacco.
On the year, Pickens is up to 63 receptions, 1,140 yards and five touchdowns. He’s on a hot streak with 195 yards in Week 16’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals followed up by a 131-yard showing in Sunday’s win over the Seattle Seahawks, and he’s meshed well with QB Mason Rudolph.
While Pickens has a case to make to be part of the Pro Bowl, it’s understandable why he was left off the ballot. Perhaps he’ll make it as an alternate if the above four names pull out due to either playing in the Super Bowl (sans Allen and Chase, whose teams are eliminated) or because of injury. Diontae Johnson made it as an alternate in 2021.