WR Alec Pierce, Cincinnati

6’3” – 213 lbs.

Background:

Appeared in eleven games as a true freshman, mostly in a special-teams capacity, then took over a starting role the following year and ended up with a line of 37-562-2 (17.6). Sustained an injury which limited him to six games in 2020, finishing with 17-315-3 (18.5). Made his senior season his best, with 52-884-8 (17.0).

Positives:

Made his senior season by far his most productive. Big receiver who lines up both inside and outside, but primarily serves as a split end; presents a size mismatch for a lot of the corners he goes against. Overall speed is very impressive for a player his size. Long-strider who can eat up cushions quickly, showing some explosiveness off the line; was asked to run a lot of deeper routes in the offense and averaged over 17 YPC every year. Sinks his hips into the stem and snaps off his routes without gearing down much; nice over routes off of inside releases. Settles into soft spots in zone. Presents a huge catch radius, with excellent leaping ability and the capacity to high-point throws. Nice awareness and body control near the sideline. Shows the ability to shield defenders from the ball with his frame and make catches through contact; a lot of his routes come off of inside releases and break over the middle of the field. Willing to get physical with opponents as a blocker, with solid effort and major upside in that area.

Negatives:

Has just one year of high-end production, and wasn’t really a high-volume target. Release isn’t the most efficient; can add a little too much window dressing at times, has some intermittent balance issues, and would like to see him keep his arms/hands up higher and tighter. Gets crowded on some of his outside releases. Not quite as flexible or loose as some of the other receivers in the class. Didn’t run too many routes at the short and intermediate levels; a lot of deep routes and clearing patterns with some shallow crosses mixed in. Gets disrupted by physicality/knocked off of his routes more than he should given his size. Could be more consistent with his positioning as a blocker.

Summary:

A big, explosive split end who can threaten defenses deep, and who runs some snappy routes over the middle of the field, using his frame to shield defenders from the ball. Has some elements of his game to clean up, mostly his releases, but could help an offense stretch the field and provide them with a big target in the red zone from the split end position.

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