Dameon Pierce Draft Profile
Dameon Pierce is one of the more interesting running backs in this year’s draft. He is a gritty player but had only two games with more than nine carries. While he was the lead back for Florida, he was stuck in a committee which is why he only had one game of over 100 scrimmage yards this season. What gets you excited about Pierce is that he is not the finished package; he still has great room for improvement. As a bulkier back with a rockier running style, he reminds me of Sony Michel. At the combine you will see all these “smooth” runners that look like they are gliding through the air; that won’t be the case with Pierce. The way he runs is not pretty, but it gets the job done. His unconventional running style throws defenses off which is why I believe he would do great in an offense that features a lot of counters and read-option runs. I have a mid-day three grade on Pierce, and I think he will be a rotational player in the NFL.
The first thing I noticed when watching Pierce play is that he runs hungry. You can tell he really puts in the effort to gain every yard possible, and coaches are going to love that about him. He can run both on the inside and on the outside, but I envision teams giving him more carries through the heart of the defensive line. Pierce is always the guy giving the blow; he is never taking big hits. Pierce has very good vision and does a good job at both setting up his blocks, following them, and getting skinny through holes. Pierce always keeps his feet moving through contact and he runs the ball every play like it could be his last. While a run may start by going to the outside, Pierce does a phenomenal job at cutting upfield and milking a play entirely of all the yards possible. In pass protection, it is apparent that Pierce loves to get physical with defensive linemen. There is even one play that I saw against Alabama where he is lined up at receiver and takes the defensive back for a ride. Dameon Pierce is a hungry runner that I believe the Ravens, Commanders, and Texans should target on day three.
As I have mentioned earlier, Pierce is not the smoothest player. He is rough and rowdy, which is not every team’s forte. His limited production and unconventional running style could rub a few teams the wrong way. While Pierce has great vision and physicality, he lacks explosion and straight-line speed. While he was able to bump runs to the outside against schools like Kentucky and Tennessee, he looked slow when trying to get to the outside of Alabama’s defense. Pierce’s running style is not for everyone, which is okay, but it may cause him to fall in the draft.
Contact Balance 8.5/10
Lateral Speed and Change of Direction 6/8
Receiving Threat 3.5/6
Long Speed 2.75/5
Pass Protection 4/5
Final Rating: 73
Pro Comparison: Sony Michel
Scheme Fit: Counter/Read-Option
Draft Grade: 6th Round
Draft Projection: 4th - 5th Round