2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Pierre Strong Jr.by Rephael Negnewitzky April 25, 2022 0 comments
After four vigorous seasons with the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, Pierre Strong Jr. declared for the 2022 NFL Draft. As a freshman dating back to 2018, Strong compiled 1,116 yards on the ground, trailed by 11 touchdowns. That testament, dubbed the hatching running back as Missouri Valley Football Conference Freshman of the Year. All the more so, Strong followed up on his rookie sensation and retained a spot on the All-MVFC first team in his sophomore year. To round out his Jackrabbit service, Strong displayed a robust and compelling senior year in evidence to over 1,500 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns.
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Name: Pierre Strong Jr.
Jersey: No. 20
Position: Running Back
School: South Dakota State
Weight: 207 lbs
Games Watched: North Dakota State (2021), Southern Illinois (2021), UC Davis (2021), Western Illinois (2021)
Major Injury History: None
Strong can adapt to almost any situation constructed in front of him. He sets well behind his blocks and breaks for the perfect moment to cut through. Patience is a major virtue for a running back, which Strong seems to contemplate fairly well. In addition, the 23-year-old presents a strong ability to adapt in the secondary as well. If lingered in a one-on-one situation, Strong activates his shifty tendencies which put the opponents out of reach. Although, in several instances, Strong seems to second guess his reads which accumulate into misplay.
Contact Balance (6.5/10)
For the vast majority, Strong’s 5’11” frame, doesn’t supply the tools to shake defenders. However, if you fail to contain him beyond the first level, Strong will weave his way through defenders, defying the contact. Although, one major flaw Strong carries, is contact at the first level. While Strong is exceptionally quick, if he fails to proceed beyond the first level, he will deteriorate and fail to circumvent the contact.
Strong is the definition of explosive. He can break off for a 20-yard gain at any moment and pick apart the defense simultaneously. For instance, Strong broke for six runs over the course of the 2021 season which culminated in 40 or more yards. In addition, Strong administers his patience well, which grants the time to barrel through the gaps.
Long Speed (8.5/10)
Another upside to his profile, Strong conveys extraordinary speed at the second level. After weaving his way through the gaps at the frontlines, he is bound to make the long run. Not many scouts rendered Strong as a speedy back until showcasing a 4.37 in the 40-yard dash. Maintaining a constant speed at the next level is a major asset for a running back which Strong seems to endure fairly well.
Short-Area Burst (8/10)
If the term speed or burst is involved in a clause, Strong will most likely be involved. Whether a weak or elaborate block, Strong can maintain a constant pace and can burst through at any moment. In addition, Strong tends to linger behind his offensive line, waiting for the proper moment to cut through the gaps. Nonetheless, Strong seems to transmit some level of speed for every opportunity he comes across.
Change of Direction (8/10)
While Strong banks on his speed to lace through the focal point of the defense, he incorporates a sense of direction that integrates well with his speed. Strong follows the chain of blockers well, and when confronted by the secondary, Strong shifts his gears and directs to another hole. All the more so, Strong measure at just 5’11” which can limit his change of direction in the early stages of the defense-which tightens in the blink of an eye.
Strong isn’t regarded as much of a power back. With a 5’11” frame at 207 pounds, Strong implements his speed and agility rather than a sluggish power build. At the same time, Strong can assimilate a sense of force if the conditions entail. However, he should not be reckoned on third and short situations. Nevertheless, while Strong is renowned for his speed, power can be developed at the next level which Strong aspires to mold.
Ball Security (8/10)
He hasn’t had much of a problem handling the pigskin. Strong bears a tight clasp on the ball and is reluctant to poise otherwise. His speed plays a major role in that testament as defenders scuffle to pinpoint the speedster in search to strip the ball. Strong will most likely carry over his aptitude to the next level which entails the ability to control the ball in critical situations.
Receiving Ability (6.5/10)
The 23-year-old wasn’t much of a resource out of the pocket for the Jackrabbits. Compiling just 150 yards on 22 receptions in 2021, his receiving dependability is a major question mark approaching the draft. Strong tends to settle outside of the pocket on non-ground designed plays and fails to make a significant impact. The receiving element for a running back is a critical factor for NFL scouts, which could alter Strong’s draft stock.
Pass Protection (3/5)
In resemblance to his receiving abilities, Strong fails to meet his obligations as a pass protector. While he can construct a firm block to rid of incoming opponents, he lacks the tenacity that many running backs possess. This trait is an essential role for running backs which Strong needs to comprehend.
Strong presents a quick and agile foundation that should be something to feast one’s eye on. He can weave his way through any defense and burst through a gaping hole in a flash. However, Strong lacks the size and power to command the field. He most likely will develop those flaws as he rounds out his game, however, for NFL scouts, Strong faces a gaping hole in his profile. Nonetheless, Strong has shaped a compelling contour that is drifting toward an early Day 3 selection.
Rookie Projections: Reserve Running Back
Third Year Projections: Potential Starter
Final Grade: (75/100): Fourth-Round Pick
Pro Comparison: Raheem Mostert
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