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Cowboys 2022 draft target: Cincinnati Bearcats WR Alec Pierce

Alex Pierce’s strengths, weaknesses, and potential fit with the Cowboys.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 02 Cincinnati at Notre Dame Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys wide receiver position is in a bit of a flux as things stand right now. Michael Gallup, Cedrick Wilson, Noah Brown, and Malik Turner could all be leaving via free agency, Amari Cooper could be a salary-cap casualty or traded, potentially leaving only CeeDee Lamb as their only proven receiver. Because of the unknown and the lack of depth, it would probably be wise to get to know some of the WRs in the 2022 draft class.


  • NAME: Alec Pierce
  • POSITION: WR
  • SCHOOL: Cincinnati
  • CONFERENCE: American Athletic - East
  • CLASS: Senior
  • JERSEY: No. 12
  • RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
  • HT: 6’3”
  • WT: 213
  • Wingspan: 78 3/8”
  • Arm: 32 5/8”
  • Hand: 9”
  • DOB: 5/2/2000

Highlights:


Strengths:

Pierce has the prototypical size and speed of an NFL wide receiver. Big-bodied playmaker in the passing game with surprisingly quick feet and natural deep speed to challenge defenses vertically, averaged more than 17 yards per catch in his collegiate career. Locates, tracks, and adjust to the ball at a high level. Natural hands catcher. Shows the ability to twist and contort his body to catch passes thrown outside his frame. Very good in contested catch situations. Physical at the catch point. Crisp route runner with room to improve. Explodes off the line of scrimmage and gets up to speed quickly, putting pressure on opposing defensive backs. Versatility to play on the outside or as a big slot WR. Good stalk blocker in the running game.


Weaknesses:

Alec Pierce has few noticeable weaknesses in his game, but there are several areas in which he can continue to improve upon. During his time in Cincinnati was mainly used as a deep threat and as such ran a limited route tree. He will need to expand upon that at the next level. He also needs to continue to improve as a route runner. As a bigger receiver he’s a little stiff, not quick twitch like smaller WRs. May be an outside receiver only, despite playing in the slot in college. Doesn’t pick up a lot of yards after catch, only average. Struggles making defenders miss with the ball in his hands. Not overly shifty in space. Would like to see him play with more physicality. Needs to continue to improve as a run blocker. Suffered a knee injury in 2020 that required him to get his knee scoped.


Cowboys Fit:

With Michael Gallup potentially leaving via free agency and the unknown future of Amari Cooper with the Dallas Cowboys, Alec Pierce’s fit is an obvious one. He would provide some much-needed depth at the position, especially considering his versatility to play from the slot or on the outside. And, the need for WR depth probably doesn’t change even if the Cowboys bring back both or either Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup.

The NFL is a passing league and adequate WR depth is a must. Pierce’s ability to line up all over the formation only adds to his value. He has the prototypical size and skill set to become a go-to receiver at the next level, but with the Cowboys he’d probably start off third or fourth on the depth chart depending on what happens with Cooper and Gallup. With his versatility and skill set though he could be a nice complementary piece to CeeDee Lamb in the not-too-distant future.

Pro comparison: Jordy Nelson (2008 NFL Draft, Green Bay Packers)