The Indianapolis Colts entered the 2022 NFL Draft with some glaring needs. The team has done a good job overall this offseason upgrading the roster, but some work remained. They wasted little time addressing those needs.
Despite not having a first-round selection, the Colts have to feel good about the draft class that they came away with. With their first selection of the draft, No. 53 overall, Indianapolis selected Cincinnati wide receiver, Alec Pierce.
Pierce is one of the players that is filling a major need for the team. Michael Pittman Jr. emerged last season as a No. 1 option, but there was little behind him that the Colts could rely on. While there are players that the team likes, Pierce could step right into a starting role as there isn’t much on the depth chart stopping him.
The former Bearcat will bring some size and athleticism to the position. He stands 6’3” and possesses a strong downfield skill set. He averaged 17.5 yards per reception during his college career, including a 52-catch season in 2021 in which he gained 884 yards and scored eight touchdowns.
Just how good was Pierce during his time at Cincinnati? According to PFF, Pierce helped produce a 133.7 passer rating when he was targeted since 2020. There were only three players in the Group of 5 to top that number.
The Colts are getting a very solid player that will produce when called upon. He isn’t afraid to mix it up and uses his strength and physicality to his advantage to help compensate for his lack of athleticism and elusiveness.
At the very least, Pierce should present a solid red zone and contested-catch option for Matt Ryan down the field. He may struggle at times separating from his defender, but strength will shine through on contested catches and he is a more than willing run blocker.
Those traits will get him onto the field early and often in his career. Honing his technique to overcome his lack of burst and elusiveness will only help him become that much better down the road.