May 27, 2024

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The top 11 running backs


(Syndication: Gainesville Sunshine)

Top: 5’10” (36th) Excess weight: 218 (63rd)
40-Lawn Sprint: 4.59 seconds (40th)
10-Lawn Break up:
1.51 seconds (86th)
Bench Push: 21 reps (64th)
Vertical Bounce: 34.5 inches (51st)
Broad Jump: 119 inches (54th)
3-Cone Drill: N/A
20-Yard Shuttle: N/A

Bio: “Why? For the reason that I’m a Gator, bro.”

That is what Desmond Pierce reported when requested why he was ending out his ultimate period with the Gators irrespective of the truth that he was also preparing for the Senior Bowl. The Gators did not always exhibit their star running again the exact amount of justified deference. Pierce came to Florida right after gaining 6,779 yards and 92 total touchdowns for Georgia’s Bainbridge Significant School, but he was generally component of more of a workload-share situation than he should have been.

There are periods when you have to speculate what the heck a mentor is wondering when he’s deploying his staff. Exhibit A in this case is ex-Florida head coach Dan Mullen, and his 2021 functioning back again by committee technique. RBBC is the order of the day in a great deal of packages, and that is all properly and good, but when you have a household-wrecker of a running again like  Pierce on your workforce, that does not make a great deal of feeling. Pierce received 574 yards and scored 13 touchdowns (!) on 100 carries, and he only had double-digit carries twice final season — the Gators’ ultimate two game titles, after Mullen was fired.

So, why is a back who under no circumstances experienced a lot more than 574 yards in a season our RB1? Due to the fact when you check out Pierce’s tape, you see the attributes needed of a running back again mixed at a bigger degree for any other back in this class. It is as basic as that.

Stat to Know: On his 100 carries previous period, Pierce compelled 39 missed tackles and averaged 3.65 yards soon after make contact with. 365 of his 574 yards came right after the to start with hit.

Strengths: Superior backs can offer with call. Fantastic backs are emboldened by it. Pierce is 1 of the uncommon backs in the latter classification. When you strike him, he’ll bounce off call and essentially use that leverage to additional speed up downfield. We need look no more than the 3 explosive runs Pierce experienced versus Georgia’s amazing protection very last season — on just 9 carries. 

This 19-lawn operate displays Pierce’s vision, cutback acceleration through gaps, energy as a result of hits, and get hold of balance downfield.

On this 18-garden operate, Pierce bounces across and outside the house the formation, outrunning some alternatively spectacular Ga defenders.

Each individual fantastic again has some “FU” operates, where by they’re just announcing their presence with authority. This 11-garden operate qualifies as just that.

As does this helmetless run from Florida Point out. Pierce was penalized for “continuing the action” after his helmet was ripped off individually, I want a managing back again who’s just ’bout that motion, manager.

Pierce is also a furthermore receiver, as he showed on this landing catch versus LSU. He’s route-numerous and keen to use his fingers to catch at a higher level.

Weaknesses: Pierce does not have genuine 3rd-degree residence-operate speed as a number of backs in this class have, although I imagine NFL groups would settle for that in favor of all the matters he can do. And he suffers occasional lapses in move protection, nevertheless it doesn’t appear to be a serial concern as it does for a disturbingly superior proportion of the backs in this draft class. You will also have to project a larger workload on to him, though he was genuinely fantastic towards loaded containers, which is a person type of projection for that.

Summary: NFL groups will likely choose two paths of assumed when it arrives to Pierce. They’ll possibly think that he’s restricted and that Dan Mullen knew what he was carrying out when he constrained Pierce’s workload, or they’ll appear at the tape, and salivate at what he’d do in their offenses. The staff that usually takes the 2nd route to its rational conclusion will be duly rewarded.

NFL Comparison: Frank Gore. Gore had a middling workload in the Miami Hurricanes’ loaded backfields until eventually his 2004 marketing campaign. But when he hit the NFL in 2005 as a third-spherical decide of the San Francisco 49ers, Gore confirmed pretty instantly that he had the energy, acceleration, gap wisdom, and getting means to be what he was — a 5-time Professional Bowler with particularly 16,000 rushing yards in his estimable job. I’m not indicating that Pierce will equivalent Gore’s figures or profession length — that’s a tough one particular — but the characteristics are really similar. Pierce can be an every-down again in the NFL from Day 1.


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