Alec Pierce turned in his best season when he led the Cincinnati Bearcats with 52 receptions for 884 yards and eight scores in 2021, all coming from fellow draft-hopeful quarterback Desmond Ridder. Pierce’s resume may seem a bit lighter on production, but he played special teams as a freshman and missed games in 2020 with a knee injury during an already-shortened season due to COVID.
Pierce was a mismatch as a deep threat during Cincinnati’s fine 2021 season that ended in the Peach Bowl with a three-point loss to Georgia. He averaged over 17 yards in the three seasons that he played wideout on a team that didn’t throw much.
Weight: 211 pounds
40 time: 4.41 seconds
The physical receiver should have no problems landing on an NFL team as an aggressive big-body receiver that can play outside on either side. His performance at the NFL Combine boosted his stock further with a 4.41 40-time and a 40.5″ vertical jump.
Table: Alec Pierce NCAA stats (2018-21)
- Big frame with solid speed
- Excellent at high-point catches over shorter defenders
- Adept at finding holes in zone coverage
- Tough enough to control the middle of the field
- Speed adapts well to vertical routes
- Will win 50/50 passes
- Highly competitive
- Sharp route runner
- Solid blocker with size to help running game
- Playmaker that delivers chunk plays
- Lacks elite burst
- Precise route running but lacks fluidity
- Yards after catch could improve
- Ran limited route tree in college
- Will need to learn to defeat NFL jams at the line
Pierce is a big receiver with better-than-average speed, which the NFL always likes. He’s a lock to play the outside and is likely to be a possession receiver than a deep threat. He’s been likened to Jordy Nelson by many scouts and he is roughly the same size and a tad bit faster.
The expectation is that he’ll need to continue his development in the NFL to become a complete receiver. He has the potential to turn into a No. 1 wideout and leading receiver for a team. He has good hands and knows how to get open and come down with the ball. But that will depend on where he lands and the opportunity he’ll get there. Pierce should be a Day 2 pick, and he’s another player that will send teams scrambling to trade up if he falls to the third.
His size and catch radius make him an attractive option in the end zone. He’s been a deep threat in college. Pierce just needs to prove himself in the NFL as an offensive weapon that can be relied on at all three levels of the defense. His best fantasy outcome is to land on an NFL team that has an elite quarterback and win the starting split end or flanker role. He has the potential to develop into a solid fantasy contributor if he translates into a possession receiver.