Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati: 2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Cincinnati's Alec Pierce (12) leaps by Notre Dame’s JD Bertrand (27) during the Notre Dame vs. Cincinnati NCAA football game Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.Notre Dame Falls To Cincinnati
Cincinnati's Alec Pierce (12) leaps by Notre Dame’s JD Bertrand (27) during the Notre Dame vs. Cincinnati NCAA football game Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.Notre Dame Falls To Cincinnati /

Alec Pierce is one of my favorite players in the upcoming draft. In this 2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report, find out why. As well as what Pierce must improve to reach success at the highest level.


Height – 6’3”

Weight – 211 Pounds

DOB – May 2, 2000 (22 years old)

School – Cincinnati

Position – Wide Receiver

Arm Length – 33”

Hand Size – 9”

Wingspan – 78.5”

40-Yard Dash – 4.41 Seconds

Vertical Jump – 40.5”

Broad Jump – 129”

3-Cone Drill – 7.13 Seconds


Alec Pierce was a three-star recruit out of Glen Ellyn, Illinois when the Cincinnati Bearcats came knocking. Pierce had just finished up a phenomenal high school career that saw him excel at a number of sports. Football, basketball, track, and even volleyball. On the gridiron, Pierce played both sides of the ball. He was a stat sheet stuffer as a senior, posting a unique stat line of: 25 receptions, 372 yards, three sacks, four interceptions, and a total of five touchdowns.

The offers began rolling in and they didn’t stop, albeit most of them coming from much smaller schools than Pierce had anticipated. As we all know, he eventually landed at Cincinnati and the rest is history. During his time in Ohio, Pierce provided a steady presence at wide receiver for his quarterback Desmond Ridder. While never being a focal point of the offense, Pierce still consistently produced on a game-by-game basis.

In 2019 he caught three passes per game with a pristine average of 17.6 yards on each catch. The COVID shortened season saw a dip in the raw counting statistics, but increased his yards per catch to 18.5. In 2021, Pierce finally was able to become a bigger part of the offense, resulting in career highs in receptions (52), receiving yards (884), and touchdowns (8). Not only did he find success individually, he helped lead the team to their first playoff berth in school history.

Pierce was a part of the recruiting class that changed Cincinnati football forever. Let’s take a look at what Pierce can bring to an NFL franchise and what he still needs to improve to reach his full potential as a 2022 NFL Draft prospect!

2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Best Traits

Size – Pierce leaves Cincinnati and brings an ideal frame with him to the NFL Draft. Pierce wasn’t always utilized in the most advantageous ways to his skillset, but there are instances on tape of him using his size to box defenders out downfield. It will be tougher to do against grown men, but the fact Pierce has shown a willingness to put his god-given frame to use bodes well for his ability to do so in the future.

Speed – A guy with the physical stature of Alec Pierce should not be able to move the way that he does. Much like with his height, the play calling at Cincinnati didn’t highlight Pierce’s speed as much as they could have. With official 4.4 speed, the former Bearcat is going to have no trouble with top end speed, especially if he lands with an offensive coordinator that realizes the weapon Pierce can be in the NFL.

Experience – Pierce was able to not only start for multiple seasons, but he caught passes from the same quarterback the entire time. With quarterback turnover being less prevalent in the NFL, it offers teams’ a glimpse into what Pierce could provide at the next level. He was the guy that Desmond Ridder felt the most comfortable going to, and with his loads of starting experience, he should be able to bring that same steadiness to whichever team drafts him.

Hands – You might not know it, but Pierce has some of the best hands in the draft. I personally cannot remember more than a few drops over the course of my entire evaluation. Drops are unacceptable at the pro level, so it adds another notch to Pierce’s belt that he has vice grips for hands.

Needs Improvement

Route Tree – As I’ve touched on a couple times now, Pierce didn’t get as much freedom as he should have on offense. He did well with a majority of the routes he ran in college, but he must branch out and refine them if he hopes to have a long career in the NFL. The shorter-to-intermediate routes are the ones that stick out most to me. He will need to mix in better timing on both comebacks and slants.

Yards After Catch – Pierce did a lot of his damage through the air, leaving a bit to be desired after the catch. He has all of the physical traits to be a real threat after the catch, but there’s just not much of it to speak of on his tape. Granted, that is the role he was asked to play in the offense. Still, if he ever wants to become a legitimate WR1 option in the league, he will have to be a little more elusive after the ball is in his hands.

Wasted Motion – This is a nit-picky, but I noticed a few examples of Pierce adding too many steps to his release, or coming out of his routes in an awkward fashion. His feet can be choppy at the snap, leading to inconsistent releases versus press coverage. Furthermore, he doesn’t come out at the top of his route as crisp as you’d like to see. Smart, physical cornerbacks will cause Pierce issues if this isn’t cleaned up.

Final Thoughts

Alec Pierce was a leader for the Cincinnati Bearcats in 2021, a year that saw the team reach new heights. Pierce helped put Cincinnati on the map nationally, leaving the school in a much better place than it was when he arrived. He had a breakout 2021 season on a personal level as well, showing an ability to be the top receiver on a national title contending team. Pierce excelled at every point of the offseason, checking any and every box athletically that a team could want in a receiver. All he can do now is wait to hear his name called at the 2022 NFL Draft. I expect that to be sometime in round two.