2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Alec Pierce


In recent years, the number of wide receivers that have come into the NFL and produced immediately has skyrocketed. In the 2022 class, there are plenty of flavors to choose from. One of those players is Cincinnati’s, Alec Pierce. Pierce was a three-star prospect out of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and had competed in football, track, volleyball, and basketball in high school. As a freshman, Pierce showed out on special teams before starting his next three years at receiver for the Bearcats. The Bearcat receiver had his best season in 2021, where he had 52 catches for 884 yards and eight touchdowns. Pierce is a favorite among Draft Twitter, and following his dominant combine performance, his stock is soaring even more. 

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Draft Scouting Reports.

Player Bio

Name: Alec Pierce
Jersey: No. 12
Position: Wide Receiver
School: Cincinnati
Class: Senior
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 211 lbs

Games Watched: Georgia (2020), Notre Dame (2021), Indiana (2021), Houston (2021) 

Major Injury History: None 

Player Breakdown

Hands/Ball Security (9.25/10)

Pierce is reliable when the ball is thrown his way. He had a concentration drop this year in one of the games watched that would’ve been a touchdown, but outside of that, there were no miscues. Pierce can pluck the ball out of the air, bring it back to his body with ease and make the turn up the field. 

Contested Catch (9.5/10)

Pierce shines in contested catch situations. He is one of the most sure-fire players in this class this year and has made some circus catches in these situations. Pierce can high-point the ball above defensive backs and retain possession to the ground or continue racing down the field. He displays confidence in these circumstances and comes down with the ball more often than not. 

Tracking/Body Control (9.25/10)

Pierce does an excellent job in this regard. He can pinpoint the ball in the air, even if he’s late to turn his head back to where the ball is. Pierce can high-point the ball in contested catch situations and puts himself in a great position to get extra yards after the catch with how he positions his body on the catches he makes. Pierce is a technician in every aspect of his game, and it shows up here. 

Route Running (9/10)

Speaking of technician, that is a perfect word for Pierce when it comes to his route-running prowess. Thanks to his vertical speed, defenders are worried about him going deep down the field, giving themselves extra cushion, and because of that, Pierce can break off his route and be wide open when he turns back to the quarterback. Pierce has a tremendous understanding of coverages and does his best working against zone coverage. 

Separation (8/10)

Pierce’s big frame hurts him a bit here. While he is a great route runner and can threaten defenses deep down the field, he is making more contested catches than finding himself open. When Pierce does get open, it is mainly because he’s a highly decisive route runner that puts leverage on defensive backs with ease and mixes that with his great athleticism to get into space. 

Release (7.5/10)

The first slight weakness comes in Pierce’s release package. He uses a blend of foot-fire manipulation and hand technique to gain an advantage against press-man coverage. Thanks to his physicality, Pierce can move defensive backs who try to jam him at the line of scrimmage and get into his route quicker. With that said, he is inconsistent in getting off of press coverage, and it hurts him when he needs to get into the break in his route quickly. 

Run After Catch (6.5/10)

Pierce is capable in this regard and is fast and physical, which gives him a baseline to go off of in this regard. Unfortunately, this may be his biggest weakness overall. Pierce isn’t going to be a player that is a burner after the catch, or at least he wasn’t for the Bearcats. Whether that be because he wasn’t necessarily put in a position by Cincinnati to do so, or they felt like he didn’t succeed enough in this regard to put him in a position to do so will be seen in the NFL. 

Vertical Speed (9/10)

Pierce has dynamic vertical speed, and while his 40-yard dash time was a bit of a surprise to some, it was seen time and time again on tape. He averaged 17 yards per catch during his senior season, and Desmond Ridder was always looking to hit him in stride deep down the field. If Pierce is used as a big slot in the NFL, defenses will have fits with him going up the seam if the team that drafts Pierce can get the ball out quickly and to him. 

Burst/Acceleration (4/5)

Pierce is excellent in this regard as well, as seen by his explosion grade at the combine. He was one of the best receivers in terms of his vertical jump and broad jump scores. Pierce has a great get-off from the snap, and it shows on tape when he’s open within an instant going up the seam. 

Athleticism (4.5/5)

Pierce scored a 9.62 on the RAS scale done by Kent Lee Plate. He had elite scores in his explosion and great scores in his size and speed categories. Pierce ran a 4.41 40-yard dash time and had a 40.5-inch vertical, which isn’t surprising considering both his speed and his jump-ball skills were elite on film. He may struggle in confined areas, as his agility grades, such as the three-cone and short shuttle weren’t the best. 

Blocking (4.5/5)

Pierce is an aggressive blocker. He always tries sticking his nose into defenders and has been used in the box to help in short-yardage situations as well. Along with that, Pierce is one of the lead blockers on the edge on screens and outside runs. For teams that love having their receivers block, Pierce will be high on their receiver board. 

Versatility (4/5)

The Bearcat receiver was the X receiver on the offense over the last three seasons. Along with that, they also used him as a big slot at times, where he could take advantage of smaller defensive backs and linebackers. At the next level, Pierce would likely be used more as a number two outside receiver or a big slot. 

Player Summary

In a loaded receiver class, Pierce has slipped through the cracks. While he has plenty of supporters among those on Draft Twitter, Pierce may go a bit later than some expect and could potentially go in the third round. With that said, Pierce is a well-rounded prospect that doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses outside of his run after catch skills, which may be a bit overblown. He is a fit for just about every scheme and would immediately factor in as the number two receiver in some offenses during his rookie season. 

Rookie Projection: Number Two Receiver

Third Year Projection: Pro Bowl Receiver

Final Grade (85/100): Early Second Round 

Player Comp: Jordy Nelson 

Check us out on our socials: 
Twitter: @PTSTNews and @TalkPrimeTime
Facebook Page: Prime Time Sports Talk
Join our Facebook Group: Prime Time Sports Talk 
Instagram: @ptsportstalk

Follow Mason Thompson on Twitter @Thompson22Mason

Main Image Credit:
Embed from Getty Images

Check us out on our socials:   
Twitter: @PTSTNews and @TalkPrimeTime
Facebook Page: Prime Time Sports Talk
Join our Facebook Group: Prime Time Sports Talk 
Instagram: @primetimesportstalk

Share this:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *