2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Dameon Pierce

2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Dameon Pierce

by March 13, 2022 0 comments

The 2022 NFL Draft does not boast a true No. 1 running back. That means that several players could go first overall, and Dameon Pierce is making a late case to do so. A consensus narrative with Pierce is that he was underutilized at Florida. This was seen especially at the Senior Bowl when he showed out as the best back there. Now, we have to look at the film to check if it matches up with Pierce’s pre-draft play and see if he can be the first running back off the board. 

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

Player Bio 

Name: Dameon Pierce
Jersey: No. 27
Position: Running Back
School: Florida
Class: Senior
Height: 5’9″
Weight: 218 lbs

Games Watched: Georgia (2021), Tennessee (2021), Alabama (2021)

Major Injury History: None

Player Breakdown

Vision (12/15)

Pierce does not have the best initial vision out there, though he makes it work. Where Pierce sees the field best is in the moment. He has vision on the fly and spots holes that aren’t the first read after they open up. Pierce has done well to exploit those “secondary” holes and make a play right after it. Pierce will be set in this department if he can work on seeing the blocking a bit better once the ball is snapped.

Contact Balance (9.5/10)

At 5-foot-9, 218 pounds, Pierce is a bowling ball out there. However, he does a great job of keeping balance and fighting through contact. Tacklers really have to go at Pierce’s legs because the upper body is so strong, and he constantly throws defenders off of him. This will be one of the top factors of why Pierce may go earlier than most expect.

Explosiveness (8.25/10)

This is one of Pierce’s most underrated abilities. Once he gets the ball, it can be a little slow from the start, but Pierce’s legs get churning, and he can rocket right into guys to get past. Pierce will reach top speed quickly after reading the blocking pattern, and it makes him so dangerous because of that natural power. It will be interesting to see how explosive Pierce can be in the NFL because it’s something that will earn him reps early. 

Long Speed (7/10)

Pierce only ran a 4.56 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. This was, mostly, expected of him, though still slow for a running back. It’s easy to see on the film as well that Pierce is not a very fast back once he gets downfield; however, that has not stopped him from picking up big gains. Pierce will make his money bouncing off tacklers and rumbling downfield instead of the long speed, which is just average. 

Short-Area Burst (8.5/10)

When Pierce’s short-area movement is clicking, it really improves his game. His ability to cut in and out of holes is underrated but super challenging for defenders to stop. We mentioned earlier; Pierce is quick to get to his top that’s because of this burst. When he finds some space, he’ll attack it and pick up a 15-yard chunk. That’s where Pierce is most effective, the chunk runs and burst plays a huge part of that. 

Change of Direction (7.25/10)

Pierce did not even compete in agility drills at the combine, which is a little concerning. On the tape, it looked like Pierce moves nicely but is not anything special in this area. He can be too clunky at times and needs more steps to get going one way compared to a back that is defined as “fleet-footed.” This area is detrimental to Pierce by any means but is one of his weaknesses. 

Power (9/10)

Pierce is a tank. His smaller size gives him a knock on the grade; however, he seems like a bowling ball out there. Pierce does not get tackled for a loss, and he will not be taken down by anyone who tries to tackle him up high. We’ve seen stiff arms, trucks, balance, and pure will to fight through the contact and always gain his team the extra yard. 

Ball Security (9.75/10)

Across 329 carries, Pierce only fumbled once in his career. This fumble came in 2018, his freshman year four seasons ago. The only little knock you can give to Pierce’s elite ball security is that he has never gotten the brunt of carries. Thus, you don’t know what will happen when he increases the workload. That, however, is very minor and only speculation onto an otherwise great skill for Pierce. 

Receiving Ability (6.5/10)

It’s hard to tell if Pierce could’ve produced more in the receiving game if given more opportunity. He’s not really that third-down back in any right, and the receiving ability (from what’s on film) is average. Pierce’s routes aren’t very crisp, but he could provide some value in the screen and check-down game once he gets to the NFL. 

Pass Blocking (5/5)

Pierce is the best pass-blocking back in this class. This was fully on display at the Senior Bowl, where he would take on guys twice his size and dominate. When you go back to watch the tape, you see this as well. So much so to the point where Pierce would be blocking edge rushers and defensive tackles on rare occasions and not letting them through. This is why Pierce will be drafted earlier than other backs and a true elite ability. 

Player Summary

Every Senior Bowl standout gets a film review after their performance to see if the hype is real or not. For Pierce, it is. Pierce has asserted himself as one of the best runners in this class and provides the most value against the pass-rush out there. This alone will see Pierce get drafted higher than what a lot of projections are calling for. Furthermore, this is one of the highest energy players in the class, so the willingness to work is evidently there. Pierce may not make the biggest impact at first, but he can definitely contribute at a high rate in a bunch of NFL systems down the road. 

Rookie Projections: Backup Power Back 

Third Year Projections: Key Committee Running Back

Player Grade (82.5/100): Mid Second-Round

Player Comp: Jacquizz Rodgers


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