This year's NFL Draft class is loaded with talent at wide receiver, and Alec Pierce from Cincinnati is certainly one of the top available players at the position.
When it comes to his skillset, Pierce is a true deep threat. He uses his size and speed to create separation and make contested catches downfield.
Pierce finished his Cincinnati career with 106 catches for 1,851 yards and 13 touchdowns. Throughout his time with the Bearcats, he averaged 17.5 yards per reception.
Since he was such a productive player for the Bearcats, Pierce received invitations to the NFL Combine and Senior Bowl.
While at the NFL Combine, Pierce clocked a 4.33 40-yard dash. He also had a 40.5-inch vertical and 10-9 broad jump.
We caught up with Alec Pierce to discuss his career at Cincinnati, experience at the NFL Combine, what makes him a dangerous wide receiver and more.
The Spun: How has this draft process been for you?
Alec Pierce: It’s been great. I’ve been training in Tampa, taking advantage of this opportunity in front of me. I’m just trying to turn into the best player I can be.
The Spun: Many analysts thought you performed well at the NFL Combine. Were you pleased with your performance?
AP: I was pleased with what I did. It’s what I expected to do going in. I was happy I hit all the numbers I set out for myself. It was a great week and great experience.
The Spun: You’re a unique wide receiver when it comes to having top-tier size and speed. Which wide receivers do you study that have similar skillsets to yours?
AP: I like watching A.J. Green from his Cincinnati days. I really like watching his film because he can run but also has such great size. I was a big Jordy Nelson fan growing up. I love watching Randy Moss, of course. Recently, I’ve been watching receivers like D.K. Metcalf and Julio Jones. I pretty much like to watch players who are big and can run.
The Spun: You’ve made so many big plays downfield for the Bearcats. Do you envision yourself being utilized in a vertical passing game at the next level?
AP: I’d say so. That’s the most elite trait I have - being a vertical threat. I hope that I continue to develop my game and bring the other parts of my game along. I didn’t really always show it as much at Cincinnati. But people know I can make plays downfield. That’s where I’ll make an immediate impact.
The Spun: You had a great connection with Desmond Ridder at Cincinnati. What was that relationship like?
AP: It was awesome. Desmond and I are really close, on and off the field. We’d get the receivers together and watch film. He was a big help in that with all the knowledge he has. Off the field, we’d play golf and hang out on the weekends. He was a great friend of mine during college.
The Spun: Speaking of Cincinnati, do you have a favorite moment from your time there?
AP: I’d say going into Notre Dame and winning there. The fact that our fans traveled so well that it sounded like a home game there was unbelievable. It was a great win that kinda got our season started. We knew we needed to win that game if we wanted to make the College Football Playoff.
The Spun: We talked about your big-play ability. When the ball is in the air, what’s going through your mind?
AP: I got the opportunity, so I got to make the play. We usually dial up those shot plays when we needed a big play. I just have to go out there and make the play for my team.
The Spun: What are you hoping to improve during this process?
AP: Definitely my technique. I still feel like I’m pretty raw at receiver. I’ve been working on getting in and out of my breaks with less steps. That’s what I’ve been working on the most this offseason.
The Spun: What separates you from other wide receivers in this draft class?
AP: I’d say my intellect and my hands. I got strong hands and I’m capable of going up there and making crazy catches. After the first year of college, I would start learning the progressions of our offense at Cincinnati. I feel like I have a good grasp of offenses, coverages and things like that.
The Spun: What would it mean to you to hear your name called during the NFL Draft?
AP: It’ll be awesome. The work doesn’t end there, but it’d be a chance for me to reflect on all the years I played and all the work I put in to get to this point. It’s incredible how far this sport has taken me, and hopefully, I can continue playing for a long time.
Most draft projections have Alec Pierce coming off the board on Day 2.
Considering there are plenty of teams in need of help at wide receiver, Pierce should have no trouble finding a home in the NFL for the 2022 season and beyond.
You can read more of our interviews with athletes or media stars here.