2022 NFL Draft: Dameon Pierce Scouting Report

Dameon Pierce tries to score a touchdown without his helmet

Dameon Pierce NFL Draft Overview

Position: Running Back
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 218 lbs.
School: University of Florida

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Dameon Pierce 2022 NFL Draft Profile

Dameon Pierce played for the Florida Gators for a total of four seasons between 2018 and 2021. In 48 games across four years at the University of Florida, he totaled 374 touches for 2,228 yards from scrimmage and 28 scores. He was battle-tested as a runner in the SEC, where he amassed slightly more than 1,000 of his career rushing yards.

As a true freshman, he carried the rock 69 times, earning a 6.1 yards-per-carry clip for a total of 424 yards on the ground. In those 11 games his freshman year, he also caught five passes for 20 yards and a touchdown. After four scores on the ground in an underwhelming 2019 sophomore campaign, Pierce received a more substantial share of the offensive touches than in his prior two seasons. In 2020, he posted a career-high 106 carries for 503 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. Through the air, he caught a career-high 17 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown.

As a senior, however, Pierce became a more efficient runner and significantly more prolific scorer. His 2021 statistics featured 119 touches for 790 yards from scrimmage and 16 touchdowns. On the ground, this meant 100 carries, 574 yards, and 13 touchdowns. His rushing yards per attempt in 2021 were ninth in the SEC, just like his individual output of points (96). His rushing and all-purpose touchdowns were third-most in the SEC, while his touchdowns from scrimmage were second-most. The most impressive feat, though, was accomplishing all of this with only one start the entire season after having been the featured back in 2020.

Strengths

  • Elite contact balance;
  • Can effectively play on any down in the backfield (modest receiver);
  • Fast feet, constantly churning knees, fluid hip control;
  • Willing and able to contribute on special teams;
  • Lots of mileage left after misuse at Florida.

Weaknesses

  • Has some technique work to do in pass protection;
  • Long-term durability a question mark considering underwhelming workload at Florida;
  • Requires an open path to pick up real speed;
  • Projects better in pass protection than as a dynamic receiving threat;
  • Patience and vision could use some work.

NFL Comparison: Ahmad Bradshaw

Teams With Need at the Position: Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Los Angeles Chargers, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles

Projection: Late-Third-to-Fifth Round

Bottom Line on Dameon Pierce

He’s not a flashy runner or necessarily a home run hitter at distance. Dameon Pierce is far more likely to chip away at a defense over the course of a drive. Finding the endzone once every seven touches in 2021, though, he has shown he can be a legitimate scoring threat on the ground and even as an adequate receiver out of the backfield. As underutilized as Pierce was in Gainesville, he managed to offer a prolific playmaker in his limited number of touches.

At the professional level, Pierce would likely need to contribute on special teams in addition to working his way up a depth chart as a running back. The good news is he has a wealth of special teams experience already, having accrued 15 tackles throughout his tenure with the Gators. His versatility and adequate athleticism are certainly alluring traits, but it is more likely his effort and weight room presence his teammates will appreciate most. Said effort can be seen on display in such moments as when he continued to try to score a touchdown after his helmet had been ripped off.

Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images