2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Alec Pierce

  • Alec Pierce, 6-3/213

  • Wide Receiver

  • Cincinnati

  • Alec Pierce Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Big receiver
  • Fast; can go vertical
  • Presents mismatch ability with size or speed
  • Very productive
  • Consistent
  • Playmaker
  • Good route-runner; sudden out of breaks
  • Sudden out of cuts
  • Threat to rip off a chunk gain on any reception
  • Deceptive speed
  • Quick to get downfield
  • Maintains speed throughout the route
  • Quick release off of the line
  • First-step quickness
  • Challenges the defense downfield
  • Body control
  • Quick feet
  • Leaping ability
  • Good size
  • Dangerous to win 50-50 passes
  • Quality blocker
  • Adept at finding soft spots in zone
  • Can defeat double teams
  • Durable
  • Experienced; ready to contribute quickly
  • Potential to be a No. 1 receiver in the NFL

  • Weaknesses:
  • A little tight
  • Decent, but not great, after the catch

  • Summary: Pierce has not received a lot of media attention, but over the past few years, he was one of the more consistent big-play wide receivers in college football. Pierce worked his way onto the field in 2019, catching 37 passes for 562 yards and two touchdowns – an average of 17.6 yards per catch. He was even better in the shortened 2020 season, averaging 18.5 yards per catch over 17 receptions for 315 yards and three scores. The senior enjoyed his best season in 2021, notching 52 catches for 884 yards and eight touchdowns.

    Wide receivers with Pierce’s skill set of being big, fast, and productive don’t last long in NFL drafts, and Pierce has special ability for the next level. Big receivers are a dime a dozen, but what sets Pierce apart from the typical big wideout is how he can really run. Pierce possesses the explosiveness and deep speed to get vertical. After a fast first-step, Pierce shows a second gear to accelerate down the field and stretch defenses over the top. He can run by double coverage and create separation from defensive backs by beating them in a vertical race downfield. His speed and route-running skill allow him to consistently generate separation from defensive backs because he is very difficult to run with.

    Pierce is an advanced route runner who doesn’t take extra steps and is sudden out of his breaks. Along with being a vertical threat, he should be a good third-down weapon in the NFL with his ability to get open on intermediate routes.

    Pierce shows good technique as a receiver as well. He tracks the ball well and has late hands to reel in passes even with defenders close. At his stature, Pierce has good size, weight, height, strength, and length to present a mismatch versus defensive backs. He uses his large frame to be a weapon for hauling in contested catches over defensive backs. Pierce shows really good feel and instincts, including an ability to break off his routes to get open for his quarterback when plays break down. With reliable hands as well, Pierce is an excellent red-zone/third-down weapon.

    According to NFL team sources, the knocks on Pierce are that he is a hair tight and is not an exceptional at picking up yards after the catch. The tightness is not surprising considering his size, and the run-after-the-catch ability is something he should work on improving. Most receivers are unable to develop that skill at the pro level, but there are some who buck the trend and become dangerous after the catch despite not having displayed that ability as much in college or early in their pro career – e.g. DeAndre Hopkins).

    Pierce could fit well in the NFL as an X – split end – receiver who works along the sideline and challenges teams vertically. He also can run crossing routes and work the middle of the field, so he could also play as a Z – flanker – receiver.

    Some team sources say they think Pierce could grow into being a receiver notches 90-100 receptions per season. He is worthy of being a late first-round or early second-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Pierce faces a wide range of where he could go, starting as high as late in Round 1 and likely not falling lower than Round 3.

    Player Comparison: Jordy Nelson Some NFL team sources said Pierce reminds them of Nelson coming out of Kansas State. Both Nelson and Pierce showed skill sets of size and speed with good production in college.


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