Bernard Pierce is going to be a good investment for an NFL team, as long as they temper their expectations of what Pierce can do.
Pierce is my sixth ranked running back in the 2012 NFL Draft and I have him projected as a late second or third-round pick.
Read on for our six biggest strengths and weaknesses of Pierce's game.
Pierce runs with a very low center of gravity and tends to bounce off of defenders.
His above-average balance allows him to gain a lot of extra two to three-yard chunks.
Pierce exhibits a good feel for his blocks and vision for the cutback lanes. He anticipates where holes are going to open, which is something that is very difficult to teach.
He would be an excellent addition for a zone-blocking scheme.
Pierce doesn't have the power of Jim Brown or Earl Campbell, but is a prospect that is rarely going to lose yards and always seems to fall forward.
If he can get consistently lower his pad level, Pierce will be even more powerful.
Rookie running backs almost always have the same problem, they have trouble picking up the blitz.
If Pierce doesn't address his blocking technique and blitz recognition, he will be very limited in when he can contribute.
Pierce failed to play a full season for the Temple Owls, battling hamstring and head (concussion) issues during his time in college.
If you're going to be a bell-cow back in the NFL, you have to stay healthy.
Pierce totaled just 19 receptions during his three years at Temple and only three in his last year.
If he isn't able to contribute in the passing game, either by blocking or receiving, it will really limit the number of teams interested.