The NFL is loaded with mid-round running backs who have had surprisingly successful careers. Temple's Bernard Pierce has the makings of one of those type of players. Pierce is a workhorse back who does a good job running between the tackles.
However, he also possesses a good lateral step, which allows him to effectively bounce the ball to the outside. Pierce is the type of runner who'll get stronger as the game progresses. He isn't going to provide a lot of game-breaking plays, but will be a consistent performer.
Dane Brugler of CBS Sports sees Pierce as a very powerful runner.
Possesses a bigger frame with a strong, compact build — has done a nice job adding bulk to his frame the past three years. Flashes initial burst and good lateral quickness to sidestep defenders or bounce runs outside with very good foot quickness. An instinctive runner with elusive, slippery moves with the first defender rarely bringing him down in space.
Running back is one of the easiest positions for a prospect to make an instant impact. Pierce could easily provide solid production his rookie year. However, his lack of explosiveness might make it tough for him to win a job out of camp. It's more likely that he earns carries as the season progresses.
With Ricky Williams deciding to retire this offseason, the Ravens had a major void behind Ray Rice. Bernard Pierce is a much bigger back than Rice and should be a fantastic change of pace in Baltimore's offense. Great pick.