Alec Pierce Scouting Report: 2022 NFL Draft Profile
Cincinnati Bearcats, Wide Receiver # 12
Alec Pierce Scouting Report Measurements
6’3” / 213 lbs.
40-Time: 4.41 seconds
Alec Pierce NFL Draft Player Profile
Alec Pierce is a former 3 star recruit out of Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. According to 247sports, coming out of high school he was the 174th ranked wide receiver in 2018. Although Pierce was often overlooked in high school, he was still heavily recruited. He received a total of 17 offers some of them by Power 5 schools like Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Missouri. But, after further consideration, Pierce decided to take his talent to Cincinnati and team up with Desmond Ridder.
Throughout his time in Cincinnati, Pierce has been a very dangerous deep ball threat. He certainly showed how important he was to the Cincinnati offense during the 2021 season. However, before I start talking about this past season, I am going to go back a few years first. Pierce’s career first started his sophomore season for the Bearcats. According to ESPN, Pierce racked up a total of 37 receptions for 652 yards and 2 touchdowns. Although he did not put up as impressive of numbers his junior season, his efficiency was drastically better. Pierce only played a total 6 games and racked up 17 receptions for 315 yards and 3 touchdowns. Finally, I am going to be talking about his most impressive season by far, his senior season. He made a total of 52 receptions for 884 yards and 8 touchdowns. This efficiency led him to being invited to the 2022 NFL Combine to show off his skills and athleticism.
2022 NFL Scouting Combine
Alec Pierce had one of the best combines out of all the wide receivers who participated this year. To start out the combine, Alec Pierce tied Skyy Moore for the 9th fastest 40-yard dash time of 4.41 seconds. Although this was impressive enough, Pierce really surprised me with his vertical jump. Pierce led the pack of wide receivers with a 40.50” vertical leap. He also ended up tying for the 3rd highest vertical jump out of everyone at the combine. With him standing at 6’3” and having a vertical like this really makes me think he will be a solid vertical threat in the NFL. Not only did Pierce have a very good vertical jump, he also had a good broad jump as well. Pierce ended up having the 7th best broad jump out of all the receivers with a jump of 10’9”. Finally, I am going to talk about his 3-cone drill time. Pierce recorded a time of 7.13 seconds, which again tied Skyy Moore’s time. I would definitely move him up draft boards because of the athleticism that he put on display. Now with that being said, let’s talk about his strengths and weaknesses.
Alec Pierce Strengths
As I noted earlier, Pierce is arguably one of the most athletic receivers in this draft class. Going into the combine, I knew that he would test well because of how impressive he was throughout the season. I should note that I had no idea that he would end up having the highest vertical jump out of every receiver. But, after I saw that, I went back and watched his tape and realized that I completely underestimated his athleticism. Pierce has a solid blend of speed and strength which allows him to go up and make a play on deep balls.
Alec Pierce is easily one of the most physical receivers in this 2022 NFL Draft Class. Although he has fantastic athleticism, he doesn’t rely on it to shake defenders. Instead, more often than not you will see Pierce use his long arms to gain separation. Having the ability to keep defenders at bay by using your pure strength is something that will transition well into the NFL. We are seeing a lot of corners who are coming out of college who are already elite in press coverage. So, if Pierce is able to use his strength in order to gain separation, he will likely have a promising career. Now, he will have to be careful of this in the NFL because he could get called for offensive pass interference.
As I noted earlier, Pierce is a very physical receiver when running routes. But, that is not the only time he is physical. I love his ability to use that 40.50” vertical to go up and make a play on a ball. He does a fantastic job of getting high up in the air and rotating his body to make a secure catch. One game that stands out to me the most last season is the game against Notre Dame. In this game alone, Pierce had 6 receptions for 144 yards with the longest reception being for 45 yards.
Finding Holes in Zone Coverage
When watching his film throughout the 2021-22 season, I couldn’t help but be impressed with his knowledge of zone coverage. Throughout his entire career, Pierce has always been good at finding holes in zone coverage for a wide-open catch. A perfect example of this was his first reception against Notre Dame. It looked like Pierce was meant to run a post route, but realized the middle of the field was well-defended. So, he slowed down during his route and Desmond Ridder hit him in stride for a solid gain. If he can transition this to the NFL, he will make a solid complimentary piece right out the gate.
Alec Pierce Weaknesses
Effectiveness Against Press Coverage
Although Pierce is a very physical receiver, he does have a tendency to struggle against press coverage. When watching his film, I realized that Pierce was very ineffective when someone was stuck on him like glue. One player that stands out to me the most that he struggled against was Marcus Jones. Although Pierce is significantly taller than him, it was difficult for him to make a play all game because he couldn’t shake him.
As I noted earlier, Pierce is a very good deep threat receiver. However, he does struggle with tracking the ball over his shoulder. I couldn’t help but realize that Pierce is way more comfortable stopping his route to jump up and make a play. Most of the time this was a smart play because he was contested. But, there were many plays where I think he should have continued his route and caught the ball over his back shoulder. By doing this, it allows Pierce to get extra yards after the catch instead of falling straight to the ground.
Alec Pierce Draft Stock
Going into the NFL Combine, I would have graded Pierce as a 5th or 6th round pick. This is not because the talent isn’t there, it is just due to the talent that is above him. Now that the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine is over, I would strongly consider taking him early on in the 4th round. I think Pierce would be a steal for a team like the Buffalo Bills. Adding Pierce to this offense would make Josh Allen feel very comfortable when on the field. Pierce would not only add another deep threat to the team, it would space the field out as well.
Final Thoughts on Alec Pierce
Overall, I think that Pierce has all of the physical attributes needed to make it in the NFL. But, in order to be a dangerous weapon, he will need to improve upon some fundamentals. The first thing I would focus on if I was Pierce is his effectiveness against press coverage. Fellow DraftDive analyst Ken Noble likens him to Drake London, but with a lesser price tag in the upcoming NFL Draft.
When watching his film, there was one player that kept coming to mind when thinking of similar play styles. That player is none other than Donovan Peoples-Jones. I should note that I don’t think Pierce will be as good as Jones right out of the gate because Pierce does not have as good of ball skills as Peoples-Jones does.
Alec Pierce scouting report analyst- Matthew Lewis.