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Chomping At The Bit: Colts’ Alec Pierce Is Sensational Weapon

“Chomping At The Bit” recognizes Colts players making a difference on the field. This recognition features rookie wide reciever Alec Pierce.

The Colts have been looking for someone to fill the shoes of greats like Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton. General Manager Chris Ballard has been attempting to cover ground in this department for quite some time. He’s had some misses, but he’s quietly found hits. Michael Pittman, Jr. should sound familiar to many fans as he’s lit up the field in his first three seasons. However, there’s another name that fans should be paying attention to. It’s the baby-faced assassin, Alec Pierce.

Colts’ Alec Pierce Was Turning Heads Before His Arrival

For many, Alec Pierce wasn’t at the top of their wide receiver board. He was the 12th wide receiver taken in the 2022 draft with the likes of Drake London, Chris Olave, Jahan Dotson and George Pickens drafted before him. Pierce’s measurables at 6’3”, 208lbs weren’t exactly eye-popping, but the scouting report on Pierce showed his potential. Cincinnati Bearcats’ Head Coach Luke Fickell was high on Pierce and noted he would be a sleeper, (particularly on contested catches) saying, “Those 50/50 balls become a little more 60/40, even 70/30.”

The praise for Pierce even made its way to national media circles. For example, Louis Riddick, NFL TV Analyst, lauded the Colts for their draft class and even predicted Pierce would shock many this season, saying he has “massive upside”. However, if you’ve been paying attention, Riddick was in on Pierce for a while. In April, he tweeted out that he was breaking down film, on a Friday night no less, and was impressed with what Pierce brings to the table.

Love the depth of this draft at WR. #12 Alec Pierce…U of Cincinnati…would want on my team. Kid is an athletic prototype; outside lane big play maker. What else would I be doing on a Friday night… — Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) April 2, 2022

Pierce Made His Presence Felt At Colts’ Training Camp

With T.Y. Hilton’s playing status for this season still hanging in the balance and the jury still out on Parris Campbell, Pierce was given a massive opportunity to step up. The Colts desperately needed a second receiver to pair with Pittman who could be a quick producer, as the team’s receiving corps was very young with not much pop – a staggering 20 receptions and only two touchdowns prior to Pierce’s addition. How do you learn quickly? Trial by fire, and in this case, battling against elite company.

The Colts assimilated Pierce to the team rather quickly by having him take his reps against former Defensive Player of the year Stephon Gilmore. Head Coach Frank Reich said it wasn’t intentional, but clearly, if Pierce was going to be “the guy”, this was his time to shine. By all accounts, Pierce was better for it. There were multiple instances of him going to work against the team’s secondary, showing that he was more than capable. A potential home run shot in the making by Chris Ballard.

Year 11. — Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) July 29, 2022

Alec Pierce Has Been “Mr. Reliable” For The Colts

Of course, the biggest question for any rookie is will this translate to the field? Pierce showed some pop in preseason action, but what happens when the lights come on? Well, it wasn’t exactly the greatest start. Pierce couldn’t bring in two would-be touchdowns in Week One and was out with a concussion in Week Two. Week Three arrives against a good Chiefs defense, and the lights were bright for Pierce. He was PFF’s top rated player from the game, catching three of his five targets, including a 30-yard bomb.

Pierce continued his campaign of attacking opposing defenses with back to back games against the Titans (four receptions, 80 yards) and most recently, the Broncos. Despite that game being anything but eloquent, Alec Pierce came up huge for Matt Ryan all game and made critical catches during what was eventually the game winning drive. (He created space in tight windows with two massive catches that sustained the drive.) He ended that game with eight receptions and 81 yards. Tough!

Alec Pierce first 2 weeks (1 game played): 2 targets 0 catches Alec Pierce the last 3 weeks: 20 targets 15 catches 75% Catch Rate 222 yards 14.8 Yards Per Reception — Jay Robins 🧾mark (@RobinsLucas) October 7, 2022

Alec Pierce’s professional comparison was that of Jordy Nelson, but I think that’s doing a slight disservice to him. Pierce is just himself. He subscribes to no one’s brand but his own, and that’s what the Colts need. He’s quietly adding his name to list of impactful Colts receivers, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the team. 

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