Should Chicago Bears target Alec Pierce in 2022 NFL draft?
The Chicago Bears sent their wide receiver coach to the Cincinnati pro day to take a look at Alec Pierce. The team is very likely to take a wide receiver in the 2022 NFL draft, so it makes sense that they are showing interest in Pierce. What skillset does Alec Pierce bring to the NFL, and should the Chicago Bears target him?
Alec Pierce Statistical and Athletic Profile
Thanks to Mockdraftable we can see how Alec Pierce compares from size and athletic perspective to past wide receivers at the NFL combine.
Pierce is what many in the scouting community would cal a height-weight-speed prospect. His web shows that he has above-average skills in all of those areas as well as his broad and vertical jump.
The question from his athletic profile will come from the agility drills. His 3-cone and his 20-yard shuttle are both below average, even for his size.
Thanks to PlayerProfiler, we can see his statistical profile as well as how it compares to past wide receivers. We are also able to look at his college dominator rating, his college target share, and his breakout age. These show how much of the offense goes through him, and at what age he started to blossom.
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Alec Pierce has a slightly below-average college dominator, his above-average market share and above-average breakout age make up for this. Overall, Alec Pierce checks the statistical and athletic thresholds to be an NFL asset.
Strengths that Alec Pierce can translate to the NFL
Alec Pierce has an athletic profile that can define a lot of his strengths. Not only is he big, but he is also fast. This helps in the two areas where he excels the most; downfield and in the red zone.
In the red zone, you saw eight touchdowns last season as he jumped over men and made acrobatic catches. Down the field, Pierce averaged nearly 18 yards per attempt as he consistently took the top off. What was most impressive was how often he was able to get deep even when pressed up against the sideline. Despite the fact that he is an outside wideout you can see Pierce dip into the slot as well.
Still, on early downs, he brings value on the outside as a willing blocker who will throw his body around.
Questions where Alec Pierce must improve in the NFL
His low agility drills speak to his lower change of direction skills, and that typically is where he struggles the most. When Pierce has to sink his hips and cut inside for passes over the middle, or even in selling double moves it looks far too laborious.
He is a one-speed player who struggles to change gears. While he can win in the air, and with acrobatic catches he often struggles when it comes to outmuscling his man in the air, and he can drop passes when he gets hit as he brings them in.
Pierce can get open deep, but unless he took the top off you should not expect much in the yards after the catch department. His lack of change of direction and playing strength often end with him on the ground shortly after his reception. With this in mind, he has a specific role of being a shot player who can make splashes down the sideline but may not win in all areas consistently.
With that skill set, what is the NFL comparison for Alec Pierce?