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Dameon Pierce
Senior Bowl

Dameon Pierce Is Best RB At 2022 Senior Bowl

  • Bryan Perez
  • February 3, 2022
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The goal for every prospect participating in the 2022 Senior Bowl is obvious. Make an impression; improve your draft grade; force all 32 NFL teams to take notice and end the week as the best player at your position. It’s exactly what Florida Gators running back Dameon Pierce has done through two days of practices at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. Pierce, a former 4-star recruit, was an underutilized weapon during his Gators career. He was given just 100 carries in 2021 and finished his career at Florida with 329 carries for 1,806 yards and 23 touchdowns. It was an underwhelming college career for a player who had offers from college football powerhouses like Alabama and Georgia. But none of that matters now. Pierce is re-writing his scouting report with impressive runs at the Senior Bowl that showcase his top-shelf feet and vision for a guy who checked in at 5-foot-9 and 220 pounds. Pierce has been dynamic in every aspect of running back play. He’s proven to be an effective blocker in pass protection: And a legitimate target as a receiver: There isn’t a box that Pierce hasn’t checked this week. It’s an exciting development at a position that lacks a first-round prospect in 2022. Pierce entered the week of practices as the No. 16 running back and 184th player overall on TDN’s 2022 NFL Draft rankings, but after his strong showing in the sport’s most important all-star game, that’s certain to change. Pierce is a fantastic example of what makes the Senior Bowl so valuable. He’s proving with every rep that his pedestrian college stats are more a product of usage and system than his actual talent, which now feels very much like a starting-quality running back in the NFL. He’ll force NFL scouts to go back to the tape, and on second look, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest his success at the Senior Bowl should’ve been an expected result. Pierce reminds me quite a bit of Seattle Seahawks running back and former first-round pick, Rashaad Penny, who was among the NFL’s most productive running backs over the final month of the 2021 regular season. Injuries have slowed his development as a pro, but his 220-pound frame and ballerina's feet are beginning to produce high-level results in the NFL. Pierce has a long way to go before he can legitimately threaten to be one of the first running backs picked this April, but if he follows a strong Senior Bowl with a good showing at the NFL Scouting Combine, there’s a very real chance he will end the draft process as a quality day-two pick.

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Bryan Perez