NFL Draft 2022 Scouting Report: RB Dameon Pierce, Florida

*Our RB grades can and will change as more information comes in from Pro Day workouts, leaked Wonderlic test results, etc. We will update ratings as new info becomes available.

*We use the term “Power RB” to separate physically bigger, more between-the-tackles–capable RBs from our “speed RBs” group. “Speed RBs” are physically smaller, but much faster/quicker, and less likely to flourish between the tackles.



What most scouting discussions about Dameon Pierce come down to is – if he was so good, why did the Florida Gators so criminally underutilize him for four years?

It’s a fair question. It is THEE question.

If you blame everything on the coaching staff, then it opens up a magical story of how Pierce is this hidden gem for the beholder to delight themselves with. If you blame it on Pierce being just an average back – then the story isn’t as whimsical/magical, and we have to live with a reality that he’s just ‘OK’.

So, which is it?

Scouts like Pierce’s size and passion as a runner, and when he posted a decent 40-time (4.59) at the NFL Combine then he was stamped as ‘acceptable’…size, strength, passion, 40-time is OK = he must be good, which then means you have to then say the Florida coaches are morons – and thus the narrative of Pierce being wasted by the Florida coaching staff fits.

I saw/heard all this debate on Pierce in January/February prepping for the Senior Bowl, and as I did preview scouting work on Pierce. I have to admit, I saw the passionate, solid runner too…and wondered why he was only seeing 10 or so carries a game. He was definitely the most energetic runner at the Senior Bowl…so the narrative really started to take hold.

I thought if Pierce’s Combine ended up with sluggish times, then perhaps that was the reason he was ‘meh’ in college – like a LaMichal Perine…another overrated Florida RB who was too slow for the pros in reality…but a name everyone low key loved like Pierce. Was the same mistake being made with Pierce, as with Perine when he came out of Florida?

Perine was a similar size (but about 5-8 pounds lighter), similar speed (4.62) band he too was lauded for energy and effectiveness for the next level…and, ehhhhhhhhh, that’s not been true. I didn’t like Perine’s tape in 2020, and our computer scouting model numbers/grades didn’t buy him -- so we didn’t fall for it on Perine…and we were right.

So, is Dameon PierceLaMichal Perine 2.0? SEC backs (so that’s ‘holy’ right there) who didn’t rack up big numbers but were effective in the SEC, so maybe there’s something there? It’s not out of the question, but I think Pierce has some more things going for him that might make him fulfill the scout’s claims.

Pierce tested poorly in agility (7.5+ three cone at a Pro Day…yuck), and that’s worse than Perine, but on tape Pierce doesn’t look that bad in shiftiness. He has a quick jab step and change direction/avoidance system ability better than Perine’s…my scouting opinion. And that skill can carry him to some more effectiveness in the NFL…Pierce can run between the tackles and quick step out of the way, and keep moving. He has a good sense/feel and fearlessness as an interior runner…much better than Perine did. If you make Pierce take running plays wide in the pros…he’s dead, the more lateral movement the worse for him.

Pierce has a better NFL build than Perine, or most backs in this draft…he has a thick, compact lower body that allows him to bounce off and through weak tackles. He’s definitely a workout warrior and you can see it in his total body, but especially lower body and core.

You take good interior feel/vision, good enough speed/quickness, with a passionate, fearless mindset…and good things can happen running between the tackles. Not great things…but good things.

And you can then assign blame to Florida for misusing him…because I don’t think the Gators wanted to work a traditional, conservative run game – they wanted excitement, players in space, QB running amok (2021) or QB throwing all the time (2020 with Trask + Pitts + Toney, among others). Pierce didn’t really fit Florida’s true offensive desires, in my opinion…so, he got mild touches and not offense-on-his-back touches.

Pierce is a grinder RB…2-7-yard chunks at a time. Good yards after contact. A positive, aggressive, fearless, enthusiastic player. He can succeed in the NFL with that style…just don’t expect him to lead the league in long plays or long TDs or high yards per carry, etc. He has good hands, but he’s not great at getting out in space to make use of it…but he’ll catch what you throw at him. What Pierce does well (slick enough interior running)…he can do well in the pros in the right system.

Pierce is a gregarious personality…super excited to play ball. He’s a workout warrior. He’s a team vocal leader. He’s a rah-rah guy. You need those guys, especially at RB/the car collision every touch position.  




Dameon Pierce, Through the Lens of Our RB Scouting Algorithm: 

 -- An example of Pierce’s problem at Florida…

2021 season, Pierce as the senior starting lead RB…and he took 100 carries in 13 games, while the team’s QB took 143 carries in 13 games. The backup QB took 51 carries. The Florida QBs had just about double the carries of Pierce on the season. Then Pierce split time with change-of-pace RB Malik Davis…so more touches went away from him.

I don’t think it’s that Florida had anything against Pierce…their offense just didn’t totally fit/feature Pierce’s skillset.


 -- Pierce played 48 games in his college career, and he never had more than 15 carries in any game. He also never rushed for 100+ yards in a game…nor 90+ yards in any game.

In his senior year, as lead back…11 of 13 games under 10 carries in a game, and all 13 games under 80 yards rushing. BUT he did average 5.7 ypc and did hammer home 13 TDs (more than the rest of the team combined in rushing TDs). He just didn’t get the opportunity you’d like to see…but we can’t blame him for weaker college numbers…it’s not his fault, really.



2022 Pre-Draft Combine/Pro Day:

5’9.5”/224, 9.4” hands, 30.8” arms

4.59 40-time, 2.68 20-yard, 1.58 10-yard

4.46 shuttle, 7.53 three-cone (Pro Day)

21 bench reps, 34.5” vertical, 9’11” broad jump




The Historical RB Prospects to Whom Dameon Pierce Most Compares Within Our System: 

There could not be a more perfect computer comp than this list with Pierce. Take all the suggested computer comps and throw them into a blender and outcomes a Dameon Pierce smoothie, a perfect range of NFL outcomes for Dameon.


RB Score










Speed Metric

Agility Metric

Power Metric



















Illinois St.







































Boise St.






















*A score of 8.50+ is where we see a stronger correlation of RBs going on to become NFL good/great/elite. A score of 10.00+ is more rarefied air in our system and indicates a greater probability of becoming an elite NFL RB.

All of the RB ratings are based on a 0-10 scale, but a player can score negative, or above a 10.0 in certain instances.

Overall rating/score = A combination of several on-field performance measures, including refinement for strength of opponents faced, mixed with all the physical measurement metrics—then compared/rated historically within our database and formulas. More of a traditional three-down search—runner, blocker, and receiver.

*RB-Re score = New/testing starting in 2015. Our new formula/rating that attempts to identify and quantify a prospect’s receiving skills even deeper than in our original formulas. RB prospects can now make it/thrive in the NFL strictly based on their receiving skills—it is an individual attribute sought out for the NFL, and no longer dismissed or overlooked. Our rating combines a study of their receiving numbers in college in relation to their offense and opponents, as well as profiling size-speed-agility along with hand-size measurables, etc.

*RB-Ru score = New/testing starting in 2015. Our new formula/rating that attempts to classify and quantify a RB prospect’s ability strictly as a runner of the ball. Our rating combines a study of their rushing numbers in college in relation to their offense and strength of opponents, as well as profiling size-speed-agility along with various size measurables, etc.

Raw Speed Metric = A combination of several speed and size measurements from the NFL Combine, judged along with physical size profile, and then compared/rated historically within our database and scouting formulas. This is a rating strictly for RBs of a similar/bigger size profile.

Agility Metric = A combination of several speed and agility measurements from the NFL Combine, judged along with physical size profile, and then compared/rated historically within our database and scouting formulas. This is a rating strictly for RBs of a similar/bigger size profile.



2022 NFL Draft Outlook:

Pierce ended up as the #107 pick in the NFL Draft. I would have projected 4th-5th-round pre-Draft.

If I were an NFL GM, I would have liked/respected Pierce…but I would not have drafted him. He’s too limited. He’s good for a certain role, and that’s cool…but I could have taken Isaih Pacheco later in the Draft and gotten an all-around better version, more dynamic back than Pierce…for one (key) example.



NFL Outlook:   

Pierce landed in a great spot to try and make a quick impact, to try and capture the hearts and minds of the coaches and fans, in Houston. He joins a depth chart with very mediocre Marlon Mack and on his last legs Rex Burkhead. Pierce is going to look like Gale Sayers compared to those guys. Pierce has a chance to become ‘the man’ quickly, and that’s all you can ask. Had he landed with like Cincinnati or Carolina…he’d be 3rd+ string and buried for years waiting for people above him to get hurt or get COVID all at the same time.

Pierce will be a solid hand for Houston, but a forgettable one in time…but he could be enjoyed a la a David Montgomery…and then 2-3 years later everyone is bored/wants something better. At that point, Pierce will become a gritty part of an RB committee for his career.