PRO 2022 Rookie Spotlight: Pierre Strong, RB South Dakota State

2022 Rookie Spotlight: Pierre Strong, RB South Dakota State
Height: 5-11
Weight: 207
Hands: 9 1/4″
Arm: 31 7/8″
40 yard dash: 4.37
NFL Comparison: Elijah Mithcell, Tevin Coleman 

College Production (Final Season)
44% team rushes
8% team receptions
27% total team yards
28% total team TDs

– blazing fast with adequate size- amazing testing at NFL combine (99th percentile 40, 95th speed score, 85th burst score)
– mega-statistical producer with solid passing game involvement
– slashing running style that leaves opponents in the dust for huge plays, a long strider
– natural navigation through first level of the defense; decisive
– surprisingly thick through the hips/rump for a long-legged, 207-pound player
– surprising lateral agility in jump-cuts and jukes
– played basically an even amount of zone and gap-concept runs in final season, brings system versatility 

– obviously played versus low-level of competition
– played through his redshirt senior season; will be 24 by the end of 2022 league year
– upright running style that presents large amount of surface area to defenders
– nine drops on 71 career catchable passes passes per PFF
– four fumbles in 2021 season which is abysmal 

Scouting Notes: Pierre Strong is a long-legged slasher who is gone with the blink of an eye once he splashes into the open field at the FCS college level. Given his combine-verified speed, explosion, burst and agility, he would likely do much of the same if sprung with similar blocking to daylight at any level of college football. His upright style is reminiscent of players like Tevin Coleman, Jordan Howard and others who present a large strike-zone to opposing defenders. He profiles as a player who could find himself in an NFL committee as a spark-plug to complement a physical tone-setter or in optimal conditions, as a 1a who is used as a lead back with game-breaking potential. The obvious concerns are the level of competition in college (similar to the concerns some had about Elijah Mitchell) as well as trouble with drops as a pass-catcher and fumbles. We know the latter will keep any promising young player off the football field until it is remedied. 

Fantasy Outlook: If you’re looking for an upside-flier type of RB in your dynasty rookie drafts, look no further than Strong. He can consistently be had in the third round and later in rookie drafts and could be argued to be taken a good bit sooner, especially if his NFL landing spot is appealing. The good news is, no matter the NFL landing spot, his speed and game-breaking ability will make coaches want to try to get him involved early, even if it is just in a complementary role. Those are the kinds of players you can get a few usable fantasy weeks out of per season when injury and other team-level situations push them to the forefront. We like Strong and are bullish on taking him as a low-risk, high-upside pick in the middle-to-late portion of rookie drafts and who may even end up having redraft appeal, again, a la Elijah Mitchell. 

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