Cincinnati WR Alec Pierce posted an unofficial time of 4.33 in the 40-yard dash at the Combine.
In true "blow up the Combine" fashion, Pierce added a 40.5-inch vertical jump and 10'9" broad jump. Quite the performance for a man who stands in at 6-foot-3, 213 pounds. NFL.com's Lance Zierlein has graded Pierce as an "average backup or special teamer," but this will earn the American Athletic Conference product a longer look after he posted a 52/884/8 line in 2021.
Mar 3, 2022, 9:53 PM ET
Matt Miller says Alec Pierce is good enough to start as a rookie WR3 starter with his size and athletic ability.
Pierce (6'3"/211) has outstanding explosion and straight-line speed that make him a deadly vertical threat. He ran a 4.41 40, and his 40.5" vertical led the WRs at the Combine. That's rare for a guy who's not small at 6'3", and he knows how to use his size and leaping ability to box out and out jump defenders on medium and deep routes. He had a 9.62 RAS, putting him 97th out of 2557 WRs tested in the last 35 years, with his only flaw being his agility scores. When compared to the rest of the class though, those aren't even that bad, ranking sixth amongst Combine WRs in the three-cone and fourth in the short shuttle. The slot makes a ton of sense for Pierce as it will help him avoid the press and use his athleticism to the fullest. Pierce isn't put into that top group of receivers, but he is certainly right below them and has the tools to be one of the most productive in the draft, especially in year one.
SOURCE: Matt Miller on Twitter
Apr 4, 2022, 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati WR Alec Pierce had top-30 pre-draft meetings with the Bengals and Bears.
Pierce (6'3"/211) is an outstanding athlete with incredible jumping scores and a great 40 (4.41) for his size. Pierce had a nice season for the Bearcats, going 884/8 and has shown a great contested catch ability as well. He easily could be one of the best WRs in the class with his physical abilities and deep threat capability, and considering he won't cost a first round pick than many of these other guys he might just be the best value. The Bears in particular could really use WR help for Justin Fields, while the Bengals could be looking to retool, especially with Tyler Boyd nearing the end of his contract.
SOURCE: Justin M on Twitter
Apr 27, 2022, 3:45 PM ET
Colts selected Cincinnati WR Alec Pierce with the No. 53 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Desmond Ridder's WR1 will have a shot to be the immediate WR2 for the receiver-desperate Colts. Pierce (6'3/211) is a former volleyball player, which helps explain his stellar 40.5-inch vertical at the Combine. Pierce also impressed with a 129-inch broad jump and a 4.41 40. His athleticism helps alleviate concerns about a lack of production during his four-year Cincinnati career. Pierce wasn't totally uninvolved; He had a decent 26% career yardage share. However, he never emerged as a dominant weapon in college, operating instead as a field stretcher with a 16.8 career aDOT. It's possible his downfield skill-set will be unlocked in the NFL, and he brings the necessary size and athleticism to continue operating as a deep threat as a pro. He projects on the Marquez Valdez-Scantling spectrum.
Apr 29, 2022, 8:46 PM ET
Hope that was nothing now that the Colts drafted him. I still don't know why they took him over Skyy Moore, but I suppose Ballard has his reasons.Why did he leave the Senior Bowl? Saw some podcasts that said he was terrible at practice and probably left to not embarrass himself further. One would have thought he would be on the same page with his QB since his college QB was there. His stock is plummeting.
The Indianapolis Colts were among those that earned praise after the draft, per Fowler:
"Teams like what the Indianapolis Colts did because they didn't have a first-round pick and they got a bunch of needs filled with some really good players. I talked to some teams that were in the receiver market and were sort of jealous that they got Cincinnati wideout Alec Pierce in the second round, he's going to be a big-time player."
Alec Pierce was the 21st pick in the second round and the 12th receiver taken in the draft, but he could end up being a steal. The 6'3" wideout led Cincinnati with 52 catches for 884 yards and eight touchdowns last season and should quickly transition as an exciting downfield threat for the Colts and new quarterback Matt Ryan.
3. Frank Reich sees Alec Pierce as a versatile, explosive weapon.
Frank Reich's offense usually requires receivers to know how to play multiple positions – split out to the field, in the slot or to the boundary. For example: Michael Pittman Jr. has played 20 percent of his snaps in the slot over the last two years; Zach Pascal played about 25 percent of his snaps outside in the same span. So even if receivers are primarily outside or slot guys, they have to be effective lining up elsewhere.
And the Colts believe Pierce has the talent and football IQ to be a primarily-outside yet versatile receiver in Reich's offense.
"I like him on the outside," Reich said. "I think he'll move around, and we'll see how much he'll play. He'll compete but as you guys know, it's play by play. We're going to move the guys around multiple positions. They need to be smart enough to do that, all of our receivers are, and he fits in that mold as well.
"One of the things I like on his tape is I like him outside. I think he's very good versus press, I think he's got length and vertical speed to get down the field. I think for his size, he's a very good route runner. So, it'll be fun to see him grow and develop and compete over these next couple of months."
While Pierce didn't get a ton of opportunities in the slot at Cincinnati, the opportunity to learn how to play that position is one he's excited to dive into as he begins his career in the NFL over the next few weeks.
"I love doing either," Pierce said. "I mean, I got a lot more opportunities at Cincinnati playing on the outside. But the small chances I did get to play in the slot, I loved it. You get a lot of mismatches in there and matchups with people other than cornerbacks. So, it's usually a pretty good deal when you're in the slot."
4. Pierce fits the mentality the Colts want from their wide receivers, too.
The Colts aren't worried about Pierce's ability to develop as a route-runner – that's something most wide receivers need to hone in on in making the jump from college to the NFL.
"That's more common that not for guys coming out of college football, particularly a lot of the schemes that are being run nowadays," Henry said. "And it's just basically along the same lines of a running back that needs to get better at pass pro — sometimes they're just not asked to do it. ... I think you could probably say that for at least half of the receivers coming out of college, they need work on the route tree because they have't run a full tree.
"The thing we look at in that regard is, okay, is this guy athletic enough? (Pierce) certainly is. Is this guy intelligent? Does have have instincts? He does. Is he coachable? Is he willing to learn? Is he willing to work and perfect that craft? I think he checks all those boxes, so I think we're in good shape with him."
But here's the other thing with Pierce, one which fits a sneaky need – a need only a team with one of the best running backs in the NFL can actually consider.
Pierce likes to block. And he's good at it, too.
"We think he's going to be able to do a lot of the stuff that Zach (Pascal) did blocking for us in the run game," Ballard said, "which is really important."
This is a guy who was so physical Cincinnati tried him out as a SAM linebacker for a few practices during bowl season his freshman year. And the opportunity to help turn Jonathan Taylor runs from 10 yards to 70 yards is one he's looking forward to at the NFL level, too.
"It gives you more motivation to block because he's a really good running back and he's gonna be able to get through that hole and get to the second level, get to those DBs," Pierce said in an interview on the Colts Audio Network. "So you want to be out there covering men up and making it easier for him to get past those DBs."
Agreed. I see him ranked as low as 30 and more than a few in that late 2nd/early 3rd range. Would love it if he fell to me there! Only a matter of time before Paris Hilton Campbell breaks a nail or gets an ingrown eyelash and is out for the year again.I'm intrigued, and looking at early rookie ranks, could be a value play.
https://twitter.com/mathbomb/status/1499763159359537157?s=21Kent Lee Platte @MathBomb
Alec Pierce is a WR prospect in the 2022 draft class. He scored an unofficial 9.62 RAS at the Combine out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 97 out of 2557 WR from 1987 to 2022. ras.football/ras-informatio… #RAS via @Mathbomb
It's almost like watching Rodgers to Nelson TDs and sideline catches from yesteryears.Super intrigued and I had no idea he tested so well at the combine. I dug into Ridder tape recently and was repeatedly blown away by how good Pierce looked. Additionally, he and Ridder had *really* good chemistry. Lots of back shoulder stuff. Lots of throwing to a spot only he can make the play. I was very impressed and that was before I knew he was such a great athlete.
Add in DC and the fact he is flying under the radar right now... yeah he is a target.
Fair point, but problem is that Pittman is as well. Target opportunities may not be plentiful and he may be very much a boom or bust guy - well see.Saw a bunch of Cincinnati games and he looked good. Just wonder if his talent will translate to the NFL like or unlike many have over the years. Should be a good red zone target. Have time to wait and see. Good luck you guys with early rookie drafts.
Nate Atkins of The Indianapolis Star projects second-round rookie WR Alec Pierce as the Colts' starting Z receiver.
The Colts lost Zach Pascal in free agency and haven't re-signed T.Y. Hilton yet. The depth chart as a whole is rather inexperienced, as Ashton Dulin is the only backup wideout on the roster that returns with more than 10 catches last season. Oft-injured Parris Campbell is slotted in as the third receiver. The Colts would be a team that makes plenty of sense in the Will Fuller/Jarvis Landry/Julio Jones discussion if Hilton ultimately doesn't return. Alternately, they could just start Pierce right away, which would put him on the fantasy radar.
, Parris Campbell
SOURCE: Indianapolis Star
May 9, 2022, 2:56 PM ET
These are great, because you either get to pat yourself on the back for paying attention to camp reports, or you get to say next summer, "oh, yeah, remember when we heard Pierce was dominating last May? Pffft!!"Sure it's rookie mini-camp but you know you love to hear it:
I considered not tweeting this because I know the replies will be extreme in either direction, but… Alec Pierce had some moments of dominance in today’s Colts rookie camp practice. Absolutely killed it in the red zone.
This doesn’t indicate whether he’ll do this in September. But you want your top pick to be the best player on the field in rookie camp. And he was.
I haven’t seen Alec Pierce drop a ball this weekend, and we’ve just seen him make two big jump-ball catches in the end zone
I personally like Pierce a lot better than Moore. I know Moore went to the Chiefs but even with that advantage I am taking Pierce over him every time. I think Pierce has enough upside to be a number one receiver for a team whereas I think Moore is better suited for a 2 or 3.Obviously as a Colts fan I hope he is good, because I was pissed Ballard passed on Skyy Moore to select Pierce. I hope he knows what he's doing.
Why do you think Moore is better suited for a 2 or 3? From what I read he is very good in open space and has the speed. Much like Tyreek Hill if I'm not overstepping my bounds here.I personally like Pierce a lot better than Moore. I know Moore went to the Chiefs but even with that advantage I am taking Pierce over him every time. I think Pierce has enough upside to be a number one receiver for a team whereas I think Moore is better suited for a 2 or 3.
You did not ask me but I personally feel like Skyy Moore is more of a Golden Tate type inside WR/slot then someone you can line up outside. Not really much like Tyreek at all to me other then being short.Why do you think Moore is better suited for a 2 or 3? From what I read he is very good in open space and has the speed. Much like Tyreek Hill if I'm not overstepping my bounds here.
He is a nice small school prospect but I don’t see anything special that pops on tape. At 5-10 I would like to see more suddenness in his game. I actually liked Eskridge’s tape better when he came out of WMU the prior year. Pierce plays more fierce, has better quicks out of breaks, larger frame, better contested catcher, and can also get vertical. I am far from an expert though, but I think you will grow to like Ballards choice.Why do you think Moore is better suited for a 2 or 3? From what I read he is very good in open space and has the speed. Much like Tyreek Hill if I'm not overstepping my bounds here.
He is a nice small school prospect but I don’t see anything special that pops on tape. At 5-10 I would like to see more suddenness in his game. I actually liked Eskridge’s tape better when he came out of WMU the prior year. Pierce plays more fierce, has better quicks out of breaks, larger frame, better contested catcher, and can also get vertical. I am far from an expert though, but I think you will grow to like Ballards choice.
I will add that I think Tyreek is a generational freak and Moore is not in the zip code physically as him. As crazy quick & fast as Tyreek is I don’t think he gets enough credit for how freaky his physical traits are.
He looked like a first round athlete at Oklahoma State. Screwed up big off the field.
If he stays out of trouble, no reason why he can't have a long and productive NFL career.
He's a bit of a tweener though. Not really a RB. Not an ideal outside WR. Looks like they will use him as a versatile slot guy.
IMO, he is a better pure athlete than Tavon Austin or Brandin Cooks, two first round guys he reminded me of in college. He has power that Austin never had and is just a more juiced version of Cooks with better sideways quickness. I think he could've been drafted in the top 25 if he'd had a more productive college career. The athletic parts have always been there. However, he was pretty raw at Oklahoma State and a year in the wilderness at a small school probably didn't do him much good. He will get better and his ability to do different things will grow.
I don't see him ever being Antonio Brown or anything like that, but we've seen that non-traditional playmakers can find a great niche in today's NFL (i.e. Reed, Woodhead, Edelman). If they commit to getting the ball in his hands 8-12 times per game, a lot can happen.
I like pierce quite a bit as well. I was able to grab him 14-18 picks later than skyy in my drafts(idp). Good luck and draft smart.I personally like Pierce a lot better than Moore. I know Moore went to the Chiefs but even with that advantage I am taking Pierce over him every time. I think Pierce has enough upside to be a number one receiver for a team whereas I think Moore is better suited for a 2 or 3.
The Athletic's Stephen Holder reports WR Alec Pierce was a "featured" red zone target in the Colts' rookie minicamp.
Holder said Pierce, taken with the 53rd pick in the 2022 NFL Draft after wowing teams at the combine, dominated opponents near the end zone with two "eye-opening touchdown catches that each displayed his ability to use his long frame to his advantage." Pierce talked up his ability to get into position to make grabs in tight spaces near the end zone. “I think definitely my ability to go up and make contested catches, to go up over people, is definitely one of my strong suits," said Pierece, a field stretcher at Cincinnati with a 16.9 career average depth of target. "Being able to go up and make tough catches and twist your body, and really make a huge catch radius, the quarterback’s able to throw the ball wherever and you can make the play. You’re kind of always open that way.” The rookie's presence and downfield ability should prevent opposing defenses from focusing entirely on Michael Pittman this season. Pierce will likely be a boom-bust fantasy option in a run-first Indianapolis offense.
SOURCE: The Athletic
May 16, 2022, 9:11 AM ET
Colts signed No. 53 overall pick WR Alec Pierce to a four-year contract.
The contract is worth $6.6 million and includes a signing bonus worth roughly $2 million. Pierce has already turned some heads in Indy, nabbing multiple red zone scores during his time in rookie minicamp. He was mainly used as a deep threat during his college days at Cincinnati. If he can add a consistent red zone role to the presumed field-stretching work he should see as a rookie, Pierce could make an immediate impact for fantasy purposes.
May 16, 2022, 5:13 PM ET
Colts coach Frank Reich said the team is "definitely pushing" second-round WR Alec Pierce to compete for a starting role.
"He's done a good job so he's going to compete for every snap, right? It's a very competitive group. We're definitely pushing him and want him in the mix." A deep threat at Cincy, Pierce has been a featured red-zone target in offseason workouts. The Colts are a run-first offense that used 12 personnel on 23% of plays last year, but with no proven options behind Michael Pittman, Pierce has a clear path to Year 1 targets.
SOURCE: USA Today Sports
Jun 5, 2022, 9:20 AM ET