Dan Moore Jr., George Pickens catches the eye of Alex Highsmith so far at training camp

Early in the training camp, two young players on the offensive side of football made quite a stir at St Vincent’s College in La Trobe.

Although the Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t yet fully practiced in the podiums due to the league’s new intensification policy at boot camp, junior wide receiver George Pickens and sophomore left tackle Dan Moore Jr. At Chuck Knoll Stadium, according to third-year streaker Alex Highsmith, he told 93.7 Vans’ Josh Rowntree before practice on Monday.

As far as Pickens’ part of Highsmith’s answer goes, this shouldn’t be surprising at all, considering the waves Pickens made through four exercises in helmets and shorts, where he demonstrated his speed, body and general body control in mucking the air for a handful of grabs. Notable reels at training camp so far.

Fellow wide receiver Chase Claypool stated last week at Latrobe that Pickens will be the best wide receiver in the NFL this season. New Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubesky piled high praise on Monday morning Steelers.com’s Theresa Farley, noting that Pickens has so much rebounding and changing direction in his game that you can’t even tell he was injured last season in Georgia.

“You can’t even notice he got injured last year,” Trubesky told Varley, according to Steelers.com. β€œHe has a lot of bouncing, changing direction. You go from a college system to an NFL system, but he picks up on it really fast. He’s been playing plays and making headlines here.”
It’s generating a lot of hype inside the Steelers’ locker room, the fan base, the local media, and even the NFL as a whole.

It’s still very early in Pickens’ career, and he’s taking the right approach with all the fanfare, saying he doesn’t hear it and will keep working. That’s key with young receivers, especially in today’s NFL in general. If Pickens can remain humble and hardworking, the Steelers will benefit from him, especially early on.

As for Moore Jr., hearing a potential breakthrough pass like Highsmith praise him is great news for the Steelers in general, and should make Trubisky’s trio of quarterbacks, Mason Rudolph and Kenny Beckett overall very happy.

There’s no denying that Moore Jr. had his struggles last season after being forced into the starting line-up late in the season due to Zach Banner’s injury, causing Chokuma Okurafor to return to full-time right tackle. Moore Jr. was previously learning both tackle positions and the swing tackle was expected to be behind Okurafor and Banner prior to the injury.

To his credit, however, he stepped up and performed well throughout his stretch, settling into a full-time role. Now, gearing up as a rookie and with a full year of experience under his belt, Moore Jr. appears to be taking the necessary step forward in his game, which is generally great news for an offensive line that was awful last season and is in desperation. Need some small pieces to appear as basic building blocks.

So far, Moore Jr. lives a strong camp, at least in Highsmith’s eyes. Hopefully he can continue to prepare for the season and then the regular season, providing some stability to the Steelers’ offensive streak for years to come.

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