The Indianapolis Colts selected Alec Pierce with the 53rd overall pick. Today we are going to dive into what the Colts saw in Pierce and how he will fit into this Colts offense.
Alec Pierce was the star wide receiver in the Cincinnati Bearcats’ offense last season. An offense that featured a strong run game and was supported by a quick and simple RPO passing attack, all to set up deep shots down the field for big chunk plays. Sound familiar? It should, because that is very similar to the type of offense Reich and the Colts ran last year with Carson Wentz and will probably utilize elements of that same offense with current Colts QB, Matt Ryan.
Pierce was a huge reason for the Bearcats’ success, dominating the outside matchups with his exciting blend of size, speed, and strong hands. He showcased a strong route tree and an effortless break in his routes in order to create separation. In addition, he has some of the best hands in the class, boasts a large catch-radius, and excels at 50/50 balls and catches in traffic. You name it, and Pierce does it. Let’s dive into some clips.
The clip below showcases a lot of what Alec Pierce does consistently well. First, he gets a good release, getting the defender to open his hips to the sideline before darting to the inside. Next, Pierce shoots up as if he is going on a fly route but breaks suddenly inside to what is a post route. He shoots a hand on the chest of the DB, granting him that extra couple yards of separation, and cleanly catches the ball away from his frame. He then displays the awareness to sidestep the safety coming over top and end the play as a TD.
Alec Pierce (@alecpierce) winning on the Glance.
– One step jab (stretch) release to turn the CB allowing him to work vertical I/s ASAP.
– Works vertical up stem, separates at breakpoint with lean & press.
– Chicken wing + sticks off DB’s toes to maximize separation. Timing = 🔑 pic.twitter.com/6X3rwagVSq
— Receiver Daily (@ReceiverDaily) April 29, 2022
Another vital aspect of Alec Pierce’s game is his 50/50 balls. Pierce catches everything that comes his way, and his ability to track the deep ball and stay focused all the way to the catch is immensely impressive. When you have the blend of size and speed that Pierce has, good luck to any DB trying to cover him in man coverage. His combination of ball skills and knack for catching balls away from his frame, paired with his tall, long-armed profile, gives him a serious edge over most defenders and makes him a real threat in the red zone.
— Naptown Talk (@naptowntalkpod) May 1, 2022
Along with his excellent catching ability, Pierce excels as a run blocker: one of the most important things to the Colts. Pierce is a tough, willing, and able run blocker with a strong alpha mentality that will allow him to fit right in with his new teammates Michael Pittman Jr., Quenton Nelson, and Jonathan Taylor. Run blocking is something the Colts prioritize highly in their wide receivers. As long as Taylor is in the backfield, the run game will always be a focus. Having tall, athletic wide receivers with the ability to be both excellent pass-catchers and tough, physical blockers allows the offense to be as multiple as possible.
And again…just completely erasing him off the screen. pic.twitter.com/wiqaA8FQJ3
— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) April 6, 2022
Alec Pierce brings that tough, alpha dog mentality to a position the Colts need some talent and athleticism at. The duo of Pittman and Pierce will definitely be one very physical and explosive dynamic that should pave the way for the ability to generate some chunk plays. I hope the Colts utilize Pierce more in YAC opportunities, taking advantage of his excellent get-off and quick 4.41 speed. I fully expect the Colts to align Pierce as primarily the Z receiver or as a big slot in specific packages, and he has the athleticism and the knowledge to play both areas really well.
Pierce has a strong work ethic, evidenced by his mid-season route running improvements. Overall, the Colts have acquired a highly talented individual who should be ready and contribute on day one. Another fantastic pick by Chris Ballard and his team; I’m excited to see what Reich has in store for this young, ascending player.