Dynasty Prospect Scouting Report: Alec Pierce
Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati
40-yard dash: 4.41 seconds (82nd percentile)
Vertical: 40.5” (93rd)
Broad: 10’9” (90th)
3-cone: 7.13 seconds (20th)
Short shuttle: 4.28 seconds (38th)
Pierce dabbled in football, basketball, volleyball and track at Glenbard West High School just outside of Chicago. He totaled just 35 catches across 2 varsity seasons in a run-heavy offense and was tabbed a 3-star recruit. Most of his scholarship offers came from FCS and MAC schools, but Pierce accepted Cincinnati's offer midway through his senior year.
He did most of his work on special teams as a freshman, finishing catch-less on 67 offensive snaps. But Pierce took over as Cincinnati’s top WR in his 2nd year on campus. He led the group in snaps, catches, yards and TDs – although current Packers TE Josiah Deguara topped Pierce in catches (39) and scores (7). Pierce accounted for 17.8% of the Bearcats’ receptions, 25.5% of the receiving yards and 10.5% of the receiving TDs as a sophomore.
Pierce was limited to just 6 games in 2020, missing 4 with a knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery. He totaled only 7 catches for 92 yards and a score in his first 3 games back from that injury but ripped off 223 yards and 2 TDs on 10 catches over his final 3 outings.
Healthy this past year, Pierce set new career highs across the board. He easily led Cincinnati with 20.2% of the receptions, 26.2% of the receiving yards and 24.2% of the receiving TDs.
Pierce was excellent working deep, averaging 17.0 yards per catch and tallying 13 grabs 20+ yards downfield. His 99.3 deep receiving grade from Pro Football Focus ranked 27th among 275 qualifiers.
Pierce’s overall PFF receiving grade, though, ranked just 75th among 251 WRs with 50+ targets. His 2.38 yards per route ranked 62nd.
Courtesy of FF Astronauts
At 6’3 with a 40.5-inch vertical, Pierce is 1 of the best contested-ball winners in this year’s WR class. He combines that size and leaping ability with good body control and strong hands to snatch 50/50 balls.
Pierce also has the speed and ball-tracking skills to win deep.
What you won’t find on Pierce’s film is a wide array of routes. Per Pro Football Focus, a whopping 55% of his career targets came on ‘go’ and ‘hitch’ routes. He’s effective on those, though. And I saw flashes of separation ability on intermediate routes.
Pierce is disappointing after the catch considering his size and speed. He averaged just 3.7 YAC per reception last year, according to PFF.
Pierce has some route-tree work to do if he wants to develop into a complete receiver. His combination of size and athleticism (98th percentile Relative Athletic Score) suggests he has the potential to get there.
But he’s ready-made to be a big-play and red-zone threat. Think something on the Marvin Jones - Jordy Nelson spectrum.
Pierce doesn’t check enough analytical boxes (market shares, yards per route run, non-early-declare) to be considered near the top of this WR class. But he looks like an intriguing sleeper with the potential to out-perform his draft spot.