2012 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple

by Cory J. Bonini on April 5, 2012 @ 13:30:39 PDT

 


Temple running back Bernard Pierce brings a bruising yet slashing style of play to the 2012 NFL Draft class. The junior back has almost every meaningful rushing mark in school history. Pierce rushed for 1,481 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2011 in 12 games. 

Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple
Productive grinder

Strengths

  • Size (6-foot 1/4, 218 pounds)
  • Ball security
  • Patience and vision as a runner
  • Quick feet to make decisive cuts
  • Nose for the end zone (54 touchdowns at Temple)
  • Fits a zone-blocking scheme nicely
  • Nice initial burst
  • Tough to bring down; easily breaks tackles
  • Classic inside runner
  • Displays very good balance for his height
  • Shows determination and drive to be better every week

Weaknesses

  • Runs upright
  • Smallish hands (9 1/4 inches)
  • Average straight-line speed (4.50-second 40-yard dash) with almost no second gear
  • OK blitz pickup technique but needs to dramatically improve awareness
  • Lacks flexibility and fluidity
  • Often battled nagging injuries (hamstring, concussion)
  • May struggle to turn the corner in the pros
  • Limited experience as a receiver out of the backfield

Expected draft placement

Pierce's draft stock is a bit murky, as he's at the very end of the Tier 2 backs in this class, if not atop the third grouping. We gave him a third-round grade, but he could come off the board anywhere from the late second to mid-fourth round. 

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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