2022 NFL draft: Dameon Pierce scouting report

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A compact, powerful runner with a punishing style, Florida’s Dameon Pierce enters the 2022 NFL draft as one of the most complete running back prospects in this year’s class.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Gators’ bulldozing ball-carrier:

Vitals

Height: 5-10

Weight: 218

Class: Senior

40 time: 4.59

Strengths

Pierce is a stocky, low-to-the-ground, explosive runner who had the best year of his college career in 2021. He posted 574 yards on 100 carries for a 5.7 yards per attempts, and feasted on the goal line with 13 touchdowns. Pierce added over 200 yards and three touchdowns through the air on 19 catches.

With great contact balance and a twitchy burst, Pierce is able to work his way to the edge with haste, and bounce off tacklers before exploding into the second level. He has patience and quick feet to take advantage of holes developing in front of him, working his way through traffic and bursting through an opening. Pierce is difficult to take down at the second level, with excellent lower body strength and his low running style, creating extra balance through contact. He has an excellent runner’s tool box, with a springy juke, an excellent spin, and good drive that makes him hard to take down in open space.

Pierce wasn’t used much as a pass-catcher, but not by his own limitations. He showed soft hands out of the backfield, using that same quick burst on screens and other routes. This part of his game should be unlocked even further at the next level, because the skills are obviously there.

Weaknesses

Pierce’s lack of big numbers might be a concern to some, considering he had so few carries in the Florida offense. That lack of touches can also make some aspects of his tape evaluation difficult, because the volume just isn’t there.

There were limited pass protection reps, but he did seem to struggle in picking up blitzes at times. NFL coaching should help him improve in that area, and an increased workload might benefit him, as well.

Projection

Pierce is a dynamo of a runner who should thrive in a high-volume offense, where can create a tempo for himself and carry the load. He’ll need to develop as a receiver and pass protector to become an every-down back at the next level, but he clearly has the skill set to make that happen. He only had nine career games with 10 or more rushes, so teams might be concerned about his ability to handle a full workload against NFL competition. There’s likely to be a run on running backs in the middle rounds, and Pierce should be one of the first ones off the board.

Projection: 3rd Round

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