Pierre Strong Jr. NFL Draft 2022: Scouting Report for South Dakota State RB
HEIGHT: 5'11 3/8"
HAND: 9 1/4"
ARM: 31 7/8"
WINGSPAN: 6'3 7/8"
40-YARD DASH: 4.37
— Very good speed and burst. Can take any run the distance.
— Above average vision, especially when reading his blocks at the second level.
— Gliding running style that can weave in and out of his blockers.
— Above-average hands out of the backfield.
— Average build for the position.
— Straight-line runner who is inconsistent making defenders miss in space.
— Below-average contact balance.
15 G, 240 ATT, 1,673 YDS (7.0 AVG), 18 TD, 22 REC, 150 YDS, 0 TD
— 2021 consensus FCS All-American
— 2021 First-Team All-MVFC
— 2020-21 consensus FCS All-American
— 2018 MVFC Freshman of the Year
Pierre Strong Jr. is a fast running back with a gliding run style that works best going north and south. Although he handled plenty of touches throughout his college career, he has a below-average build that will limit his carries at the next level because of durability concerns.
Strong can truly take any run the distance with his very good speed and has a weaving running style that takes advantage of second-level blockers. He has above-average vision and doesn't dance on his runs, understanding when to get north when he has to. Strong has above-average lateral quickness but struggles to stop and start once he gets going and is best staying vertical on his runs.
However, he has below-average contact balance and play strength. He is not a soft runner but can be tackled on side blows and can be inconsistent when making defenders miss in space.
Strong does flash the side-to-side twitch to make a defender miss down the field. He has above-average hands when coming out of the backfield and has potential as a receiver on screens with his explosive-play ability.
Overall, Strong can bring real juice from the backfield for any NFL offense on Day 1. He has some tread on his tires, and his lack of size and play strength will prevent him from taking on a three-down role, but he has the vision and speed to create big plays if given the runway.
Strong will be best utilized as part of a committee where he can spell a bigger back and use his speed on runs and screens against worn-down defenses. He is a competitive and tough player who has the athleticism to give him a chance to contribute on special teams as well.
GRADE: 6.8 (Potential Role Player - 4th Round)
OVERALL RANK: 129
POSITION RANK: RB7
PRO COMPARISON: Elijah Mitchell