Rookie Playmakers Turning Heads at Steelers' Training Camp

Adam Taylor McKillop
A pair of rookie playmakers have been turning heads at Pittsburgh Steelers' training camp.
A pair of rookie playmakers have been turning heads at Pittsburgh Steelers' training camp. / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Pittsburgh Steelers' offense took on a new look during the offseason, most notably at quarterback and wide receiver. Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett were brought in to take over from Ben Roethlisberger under center, while the dynamic pass-catching group lost JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington and Ray-Ray McCloud.

Pittsburgh addressed both of those holes in the NFL Draft. With training camp fully underway, a pair of rookie playmakers has already been turning heads. It's another early indication of what the Steelers do best: draft elite talent at wide receiver.

Steelers Training Camp

According to Steelers insider Alex Kozora, the current training camp receiving leaderboard has been dominated by the pair of rookie wideouts. George Pickens leads the way with 11 receptions and 21 targets while Calvin Austin III has racked up the most yards at 160.

It's a good sign considering the Pittsburgh spent valuable draft capital on the pair. The Steelers selected Pickens from the University of Georgia in the second round at No. 52 overall. He was viewed as a potential first-round talent prior to his torn ACL before the 2021 season. The team then opted to take Austin III just two rounds later at No. 133 overall.

Pittsburgh's wide receiver depth chart is certainly up for grabs behind Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool. Johnson began practicing this past Thursday after a training camp "hold-in" led to a new three-year contract. The pair paced the team with 169 and 105 targets, respectively, in 2021.

Steelers fans can get their first taste of Pickens and Austin III when the team opens up its preseason schedule this week against the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday, Aug. 13. Pittsburgh enters that contest as -160 moneyline favorites, according to NFL odds on FanDuel Sportsbook.

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Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.