The former Gator could fill a key role in Tampa Bay’s offense
Entering the NFL draft, the Bucs do not have that many pressing needs, but depth is always a good thing to have and running back is a position that the team could look to add in a few weeks. That player they could target just so happens to already play nearby.
This brings us to our latest draft profile, former Florida Gator Dameon Pierce.
DAMEON PIERCE’S COLLEGIATE CAREER
Throughout his entire four year college career, Pierce contributed in some way every season. He was a solid backup for the Gators in his freshman and sophomore campaigns and also contributed on special teams during that time.
It was not until his junior season that he would play in 12 games and start 10 of them. He led the Gators in rushing with over 500 yards and four touchdowns. He also was productive as a receiving option, racking up 17 catches for 156 yards and one touchdown. Pierce would then start in all 13 games in 2021 and he had a breakout campaign with 574 yards and 13 rushing touchdowns. His receiving production also improved as he had 19 catches for 216 yards and three touchdowns.
While at UF, Pierce proved that he could serve as a player in a committee and also carry the lead back role.
PRO DAY AND COMBINE
Pierce participated in a lot of the drills at the combine, having a 4.59 40 yard dash as well as 21 reps on the bench press. He also did both the broad and vertical jump, registering a 34.5 inch vertical and a 11.9 inch broad jump.
At his pro day, Pierce decided not to re-run his 40 time and instead participated in a lot of on field drills, showing his ability to catch the football as well as prove that his game speed is faster than his 4.59 40 time would suggest.
WHAT CAN PIERCE DO FOR THE Bucs IN 2022
On the surface, there may not be a clear spot for Pierce in the running back room. With the Bucs bringing both Leonard Fournette and Giovani Bernard back, there will not be many reps to share. Pierce’s ability to be a productive back in a committee could appeal to Tampa Bay. Pierce would provide tremendous depth to the Bucs and could be a solid replacement for Ronald Jones, who departed via free agency a few weeks ago.
THREE YEAR OUTLOOK
The Bucs have Leonard Fournette on a three year deal so it is possible that the Bucs could look to let Fournette walk if he turns out to be too expensive for their liking and Pierce could be the replacement for him. Pierce has experience waiting for his time to come and the situation in Tampa could be no different. With Giovani Bernard only on a one year deal, Pierce could even contribute on third down as a pass catcher and pass protector sooner rather than later.
Pierce’s stock has consistently been in the 2nd-3rd round range and he is still expected to go off the board at some point on day two. The Draft Network does not have a consensus grade on Pierce but a few of their analysts have chimed in and believe that he does have a lot of talent. A player like Dameon Pierce could be very valuable to NFL teams.
ON THE CLOCK…
The time is now to make the pick. You can now put on your GM hat on and make the choice. Would you select the former Florida Gator to be the newest Buc?
Let us know your thoughts in the poll and comments section below!