NFL Draft

2022 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Florida RB Dameon Pierce

From now until the 2022 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top 10 picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections and priority undrafted free agents. Today, I’ll be profiling a running back prospect I got to know really well when he first started his college career and is a name to keep an eye on as a value selection in this draft class.

#27 Dameon Pierce, RB, Florida (Senior) – 5095, 218lb


Senior Bowl/Combine Invite

Player Ht/Wt Hand Size Arm Length Wingspan
Dameon Pierce 5095/218 9 3/8″ 30 3/4″ 73 5/8”
40-Yard Dash 10-Yard Dash Short Shuttle 3-Cone
4.59 N/A N/A N/A
Broad Jump Vertical Bench Press
9’11” 34 21


The Good

— Has a strong, dense, compact frame with good size for the position
— Physical runner in-between the tackles that looks to be the hammer rather than the nail on contact
— Good contact balance and will fight for extra yardage once wrapped up, having the ability to run through arm tackles
— Low center of gravity and powerful lower half help him churn out extra yards in-between the tackles
— Has some elusiveness as a runner, showing growth in his vision to hit the hole and work through trash during his time at UF
— Has enough burst and explosiveness to get to the outside and get chuck gains
— Capable pass catcher that can run out of the backfield and in the screen game
— Showed more receiving ability in Mobile than what was featured in college
— Competent pass protector that will engage blitzers and stick his face in there to keep the pocket clean
— Does a good job sitting in his blocks and absorbing contact with squaring up his blocks
— Was effective and efficient on the touches he was given in Florida’s committee-style approach
— Comes to the league with minimal tread on the tires from a workload perspective
— Extensive experience on special teams running down kicks and punts, even when named the starting tailback
— High-character individual known for his leadership both on and off the field
— Extremely hard worker when it comes to practices or workouts
— Great locker room presence with a personality that is uplifting to those around him

The Bad

— Isn’t a world beater when it comes to top speed and acceleration
— Isn’t going to make multiple defenders miss in space with ability to change direction
— Never held the feature back role in college, having 123 touches as a season-high


— Senior prospect from Bainbridge, GA
— February 19, 2000 (Age 22)
— A four-year starter for Bainbridge, compiled 6,779 yards on the ground while finding the end zone 92 times in his career
— Passed Herschel Walker on GHSAA’s All-Time rushing list and finished his career in the top ten in the state’s rushing list
— Four-star prospect and the #8 RB in the 2018 Recruiting Class
— Played in all 13 games his freshman year as a reserve and key member of Florida’s special teams units totaling 69 carries for 424 rushing yards (6.1 YPC) and two touchdowns while catching five for 20 yards and one touchdown, also notched four tackles on special teams
— Made appearances in 12 games as a reserve running back as a sophomore and totaled 54 carries for 305 yards (5.4 YPC) and four scores along with four passes for 30 yards, also tallied six tackles on special teams
— Played in all 12 games, starting in ten in 2020 and ran for 503 yards on 106 carries (4.7 YPC) and four touchdowns while snagging 17 passes for 156 yards and one touchdown, also contributed four tackles on special teams
— Saw action at running back in all 13 games as a senior, rushing 100 times for 574 yards (5.7 YPC) and 13 touchdowns while catching 19 passes for 216 yards and three scores

Tape Breakdown

Dameon Pierce from Florida is a player that I personally have taken a liking to during this pre-draft process. I had the opportunity to work with Pierce when he arrived in Gainesville as a true freshman in the strength and conditioning department, having the running back in my lifting group for most of the summer. What stood out about Pierce back then was his impressive brute strength, repping 600lb on back squat and 300lb on the bench press with ease as a 17-year-old kid transitioning from high school to football in the SEC.

When you turn on the tape of Pierce, that strength and power show up immediately on the gridiron as it did in the weight room. He is a physical, compact runner that rarely goes down on first contact. Watch this run against the Seminoles from this past season where pierce takes the handoff and finds the hole opening up the middle, having the patience to follow his blocks but hits the jets forward as he sees daylight. He throws one tackler off his shoulders who ends up ripping his helmet off, but continues to run forward into the end zone, going through three defenders to cross the plane for the score. Pierce ends up getting flagged for the play, but you love his competitive toughness.


Pierce is built low to the ground and has great contact balance, making him an extremely effective runner in-between the tackles with his bowling ball running style. Against the Georgia Bulldogs top-rated rush defense, we see Pierce take the hand off and shoot up the hole into the second level, running through two arm tackles while running through another tackle attempt by #16 Lewis Cine before getting taken down by the fourth defender coming in after Pierce picks up the first down.


Pierce is the definition of a YAC daddy, picking up yards after contact. However, he displays good patience and vision as a runner as well, having the lateral movement skill to make subtle jump cuts into gaps. In the same game against the Dawgs, we watch Pierce take the hand off to the left-side B-gap but has the gap close on him before he gets to the hole. However, Pierce notices a hole open to his right, and executes a great jump cut into the gap, getting his momentum back downhill immediately after the move and runs through a shoulder tackle by the defender flying in and proceeds to drag Cine for extra yards before #11 Derion Kendrick comes in to help bring him down.


Here is a similar play against LSU in the red zone where Pierce takes the hand off on the zone read to the left and cuts back to his right, but notices a hole open by his left shoulder that he shoots through. He stiff arms the defensive lineman attempting to get off the block and runs through multiple defenders that meet him at the goal line to punch it in for the touchdown.


Many scouts will say that Pierce is a one-speed runner that doesn’t have the elite long speed to work as a home run hitter at the next level. While he may not have that burning open field speed you like to see in feature backs, he does possess deceptive burst and acceleration to get the corner and be just as effective on outside runs as he is in-between the tackles. Check out this run against Georgia where Pierce takes the hand off and bounces it to the corner after the gap closes in front of him, displaying good burst and acceleration as he gets up the left sideline, taking away the pursuit angle of the defender in charge of contain for a big chuck play.


Here is a similar play against the Crimson Tide where Pierce gets the ball on the read option and bounces it outside, accelerating up the field and reaches the goal line and runs through the attempted tackle by #9 Jordan Battle for the score to keep the Gators in the game.


One thing I appreciate about Pierce is his willingness to do whatever the team asked of him at Florida. He was utilized heavily in a committee in Dan Mullen’s offense, rotating with Malik Davis who was their pass catching back. While Pierce didn’t get much usage as a receiver, his tape and performance at the Senior Bowl showcases a skill set to be a viable pass catcher out of the backfield. He has natural hands and can catch the ball away from his frame as we see on this rep from Mobile where he beats coverage specialist #13 JoJo Domann on the out route, snagging the ball with outstretched hands and comes down in-bounds.


Pierce got more run as a receiver this season and made the most of it, snagging 19 passes for 216 yards and three scores. Watch Pierce on the wheel route against the Tigers as he gets a free release up the sideline and turns back to the football on the throw, leaping into the air to catch the pass in-stride with a defender flying in to bat the pass down. He maintains concentration on the ball and comes down with the TD.


When I interviewed Pierce down at Mobile, he stressed the importance in the little details, making yourself available for the betterment of the team and paying your dues on special teams to earn the right to carry the ball. Pierce contributed heavily on kick and punt coverage units during his college career, but also developed into quite the pass protector under the watchful eye of RB Coach Knox. He plays with a great base, a strong punch inside the defender’s torso, as well as the regressive demeanor to attack potential blitzers like we see on this one-on-one rep at the Senior Bowl to end practice. Pierce plays with great hands and feet in synchronization, winning the rep and gets the whole team hyped afterwards.


Pierce stressed the importance of pass protection and ball security to me when speaking with him, saying he doesn’t deserve to see the field if he doesn’t execute the little details of the game. Frankly, he took that coaching to heart as Pierce appears to be one of the better blocking RBs I have seen in some time. If you have any doubts, check out this play Pierce makes on first-round hopeful #17 Nakobe Dean where he runs up to the second level out of the pony set and locates Dean flowing to the outside, dropping his shoulders and hips and knocks Dean off his feet for the blowup block.



Initially when watching film on Pierce during the college season, I compared him to Damien Williams in my in-season notes as the two backs share similar frames and running styles. However, Williams has more noticeable burst and long speed compared to Pierce and is a more proven receiver at this juncture. A more accurate comparison for Pierce that I fell on is Jacksonville Jaguars RB James Robinson. Robinson and Pierce are nearly identical in terms of size, length, and athletic attributes including speed, burst, etc. Both backs are physical runners in-between the tackles but are capable outside runners that also have the pass catching chops to operate as three-down backs.

Robinson also is a capable pass protector like Pierce and proved to the Jaguars coaching staff that he could shoulder the load for an offense as a back that may not be the most explosive runner, but has that blend of power, vision, and burst to be effective in nearly any scheme. I see Pierce as a similar player, being a jack-of-all-trades that will contribute in multiple facets for and offense as a runner, receiver, and pass protector at the next level while not possessing that rare second gear that gets backs drafted early at his size. He was criminally underutilized at Florida giving his skill set and efficiency when he touched the ball, suggesting he can be a better pro if given opportunity.

The Pittsburgh Steelers may not have backup RB high on the priority list of needs this offseason, but Pierce would be an ideal complement to Najee Harris in the backfield given his skill set to play all three downs, especially as a pass catcher and protector. He also could play right away on special teams, having nearly 20 special teams tackles under his belt during his time in college. Pierce may not garner the headlines that some of the other top backs will in this draft class, but his talent and football character will make him a welcomed addition to whatever team selects him come April.

Projection: Day Three

Depot Draft Grade: 7.9 – Potential Starter/Good Backup (3rd Round)

Games Watched: vs Alabama (2021). vs Georgia (2021), at LSU (2021), Senior Bowl (2021)

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