4 Steelers stars who will be wasted in Arthur Smith's offense

Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers
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2. George Pickens, WR

Another bit of frustration within the Steelers offense in the 2023 season was the role of George Pickens. All told, the second-year wideout who won't turn 23 years old until March looks pretty solid. He ended the year with 63 catches for 1,140 yards and five touchdowns off of 106 targets. However, he was almost always used as a big-play merchant and with hardly any consistency.

For a player who checks a lot of boxes to be the Steelers top wide receiver in the offense, that inconsistency is maddening. Yes, Diontae Johnson is a good pass-catcher, but to say that he offers the immense upside overall or even on a play-to-play basis would just be lying. Pickens has the immensely higher ceiling and fans want to see him used as such within the offense.

Unfortunately for him and the fan base, Arthur Smith isn't exactly the guy that you can imagine offering a fix or a solution to that issue. Yes, Drake London, a former first-round pick for the Falcons, led Atlanta in targets last season, but it was with just 110. Even worse, he wasn't utilized down the field consistently either, failing to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark on 69 receptions.

Part of that could've been due to quarterback play but, at the same time, part of it is definitely Smith not pushing the ball down the field with his passing concepts and with him looking to spread the round. Or, you know, infamously using his best players as decoys within the offense. That simply can't be the case with Pickens for him to maximize what he could bring to the Steelers, but hiring Smith makes that a real danger for the offense in 2024 and however long he's the OC.