Dameon Pierce is among the best running backs available in the 2022 NFL Draft. In this breakdown, check out what Pierce brings to the table, and what he will need to improve upon to stick around in the NFL.
Height – 5’10”
Weight – 218 Pounds
DOB – February 19, 2000 (22 years old)
School – Florida
Position – Running Back
Arm Length – 30 3/4”
Hand Size – 9 3/8”
Wingspan – 74”
40-Yard Dash – 4.59 Seconds
Vertical Jump – 34.5”
Broad Jump – 119”
Bench Press – 21 Reps
Dameon Pierce grew up in a small Georgia town known as Bainbridge. Notably, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart is an alumni of the same high school that Pierce attended — Bainbridge High School. Pierce rushed for an astonishing 2123 yards as a senior, while tacking on 32 touchdowns for good measure. This resulted in a sparkling four-star rating and offers from nearly every top college in the country, including the aforementioned Kirby Smart and his home state of Georgia. Ultimately, Pierce spurned those efforts and chose to continue his playing career at the University of Florida.
During his time in Gainesville, Pierce displayed an inspiring work ethic on the field and in the weight room. He is widely considered to be one of the hardest workers that the Gators have had in recent memory. Unfortunately, Pierce did not see as much playing time as he deserved. He only exceeded 100 carries one time in college, and never hauled in more than 20 passes in any single campaign. This is not to say that Pierce was without any game-changing plays, quite the contrary actually.
As a senior, Pierce not only set a career high in rushing touchdowns (13), he did so on a stellar 5.7 yards per carry. The grisly veteran may not have gotten a bellcow workload but the times he touched the football, he made them count. Most of his touchdowns came from deep in the red zone to cap off drives, utilizing his craftiness to find holes between the tackles. He also scored three touchdowns through the air, one of which was scored from 61 yards out.
He concluded his collegiate career with a great showing at the Senior Bowl, leading many evaluators to believe he was the best running back in attendance. He followed this up with a decent showing at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine, posting a good-but-not-great 4.59 in the 40-yard dash. He flexed his muscle, literally, with 21 reps on the bench press. Other running backs’ in Indianapolis ran faster than Pierce, but few present the total package that he brings to the table.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at what Dameon Pierce excels at, along with a few things that he must improve to succeed on Sundays.
2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report
Vision – Dameon Pierce is not the fastest guy in the world, instead using elite vision to create the majority of his yardage. He is patient and allows for the offensive line to do the heavy lifting and attacking the holes that they create. This vision extends to the second level of the defense. Pierce is great at preventing defenders from getting an angle on him, something that should carry over well to the league.
Physicality – Pierce may not barrel through many defenders as a professional, but he consistently invited contact in college and I see him doing the same in the NFL. Even if it doesn’t result in a ton of broken tackles, Pierce is going to make sure you earn each and every tackle that you get at his expense.
Frame – Pierce is built like a modern-day NFL running back. He’s a bit shorter than some prefer, but his 218 pound frame and low center of gravity make him sturdier than you’d expect. It wasn’t tested much at Florida, but I have no doubts that his body can hold up over the course of a 17 game season.
Three-Down Threat – The most appealing part of Pierce’s evaluation is his potential as a bellcow running back in the NFL. Pierce has the size and vision necessary to succeed, but where he really shines is on third down. Pierce is one of the best pass catchers at the position, and he is so creative with the ball in his hands. He’s also serviceable in pass protection, something that is required of most three-down backs.
Top-End Speed – The one major holdup athletically is top-end speed. Dameon Pierce gets to his top gear in a hurry, but unfortunately it lacks the steam of the typical top gear for an NFL running back. Due to his elite vision, and being well-rounded in every other physical department, this isn’t a death nail to Pierce’s career. It will, however, limit his potential to consistently take long gains to the house.
Home-Run Hitter – Pierce has very few instances on tape of gaining 20+ yards on a carry. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that the bulk of his big gains came through the air, oftentimes on broken plays. Pierce is a consistent yard-churner, but it would be nice to see him break off a few big gainers on the ground.
Workload – This isn’t Pierce’s fault, as he made the most of each touch during his time with the Florida Gators. It is, however, a cause for concern when you think about what being a bellcow in the NFL entails. Without a proven track record of carrying the ball 200+ times, it will leave some teams’ uncertain of his potential as an every down player.
Dameon Pierce was never full utilized during his four-year Florida tenure, but that didn’t stop the Bainbridge native from leaving his mark on the program. Pierce provided a steady presence as a junior and senior, eclipsing the 100-touch mark and 650 scrimmage yards each season. He further elevated his draft status after an impressive effort at the Senior Bowl, laying claim to one of the best outings of the offseason. Pierce did his part at the Combine, and now he leaves it in the hands of NFL general managers. Who is going to take the chance on a running back that is seemingly just scratching the surface? Your guess on the destination is as good as mine, but I expect the former Gator to hear his name called on day two of the 2022 NFL Draft.