Bernard Pierce

Draft Grades: Baltimore Ravens

Sometimes it feels like the Baltimore Ravens can do no wrong on draft day. Everything Ozzie Newsome touches turns to gold this time of year. How often does a team trade out of the 1st round and still end up with one of the players they were targeting?

The Ravens would have been happy to make Courtney Upshaw a 1st-rounder, but instead they move back and still snag him in the early 2nd round. The recent injury to Terrell Suggs now makes this one of the most important picks in the entire draft.

Kelechi Osemele played left tackle at Iowa State, but he’ll likely be given an opportunity to compete for the starting left guard position vacated by Ben Grubbs. He was a slight reach in the 2nd, but I can’t fault them too much for filling an immediate need.

Bernard Pierce is a great fit as a compliment to Ray Rice. He’ll probably never develop into a starter, but he can play the role of the short-yardage back in Baltimore.

Gino Gradkowski was a reach in the early 4th round. He rose up draft boards this offseason, but 98th overall was early for a developmental guard/center. That said, the Ravens are probably hoping to develop him behind Matt Birk.

I like the selection of Christian Thompson. He’s an intriguing developmental prospect and he landed in an ideal place to learn the game behind Ed Reed. He’ll play special teams early in his career, with the hope that he can grow into a starting role down the line.

Asa Jackson adds some depth to the secondary and could compete with Corey Graham and Cary Williams for some playing time.

I was not as high on Tommy Streeter as some, but was still surprised to see him on the board in the 6th round. He has all the measurables necessary to be a matchup nightmare, but never really put it all together at Miami. He’s a nice developmental prospect to have around.

DeAngelo Tyson is a nose tackle who will compete for playing time behind Terrence Cody. If he wins the backup job, he’ll see a fair amount of playing time due to Cody’s lack of stamina and inability to remain effective deep into games.

This was another strong draft for Ozzie Newsome, who consistently puts together some of the best draft classes. They may have landed two immediate starters (Upshaw and Osemele) and at least one other (Pierce) who will contribute immediately.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Draft Grades - 2012, Ravens Comments Off

Jets targeting RB in draft?

The New York Jets have scheduled a pre-draft visit with Utah State running back Robert Turbin, a projected Day Two pick.

Running back is definitely not a glaring hole on the Jets roster, but with LaDainian Tomlinson hitting the free agent market and without another proven running back on the roster, the Jets may be willing to spend a high pick on Shonn Green’s new backup.

If the Jets are looking to bring someone in to share the load with Green, Turbin would make sense. Like Green, he’s a short but stocky power runner with just enough athleticism to break off some big runs. The combination of Green and Turbin, with Joe McKnight as the third option, would give the Jets a formidable backfield.

It could be worth keeping an eye on the Jets visits this offseason to gauge their interest in adding a running back. Bernard Pierce and Chris Polk could be some other options in the 3rd or 4th-round range that may fit the mold for which they’re looking to fill.

For more info, follow our Draft Visit Tracker, updated daily. 

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Jets Comments Off

Bernard Pierce scouting report

Bernard Pierce RB Temple #30
Ht: 6’0″
Wt: 218
 
Strengths:
Good overall size and strength. A strong, tough between-the-tackles runner. Strong legs allow him to consistently fight through arm tackles. Quick feet; surprisingly shifty in tight spaces for a guy his size. Has a nice spin move to avoid head-on collisions.
Weaknesses:
Not very explosive. Speed is very average. Doesn’t make guys miss; will take a pounding at the next level. Relies heavily on his spin move, to the point where it’s predictable. Rarely used as a receiver out of the backfield. Gives a solid effort as a blocker, but struggles with blitz recognition at times. Missed time with ankle injuries in 2010 and 2011. Missed time with a shoulder injury in 2009.
Comments:
Pierce has the size and strength to be effective in the NFL and could potentially develop into an adequate starter. However, there are serious concerns about his ability to stay healthy, which are compounded by his physical running style. Pierce definitely has some upside if healthy, but under no circumstances should he be drafted under the assumption that he will be a full-time feature back.
Videos:
2011 vs Wyoming (bowl game)
2011 vs Maryland 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 Comments Off