NFL writer makes bold prediction for rookie WR Alec Pierce
It’s the time of year to make bold predictions for the upcoming NFL season. NFL writer Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report has a very bold prediction for Indianapolis Colts rookie receiver Alec Pierce.
Moton included among nine bold 2022 NFL season predictions he made on July 13 that Pierce would win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
“At 6’3”, 211 pounds with a speed of 4.41, Pierce has the physical tools to make a strong statement right out of college,” Moton wrote. who has completed at least 65% of his passes in each of the past four seasons and thrown for at least 3,900 yards every year since 2011.
“Even though the Colts have gone heavy on offense with running back Jonathan Taylor the past two seasons, Pierce should see plenty of targets in an aerial offense that features only one reliable passer in Michael Pittman Jr.”
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Pierce Early Candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year?
While it’s bold to say that a second-round wide receiver will win Offensive Rookie of the Year, Pierce enters training camp with pretty high expectations.
NFL writer Mike Clay of ESPN projected that Pierce would finish fifth among rookie wide receivers in receiving yards with 746 yards. Clay predicted only rookies Drake London, Treylon Burks, Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave would get more.
“Second round Pierce is a bit of a surprise on this list, but even in a heavy offense he has a clear path to a big workload against Michael Pittman Jr,” Clay wrote.
Pierce has a path to “a heavy workload” because the Colts don’t have a lot of wide receiver experience. Indianapolis has no receivers over 25, and only one receiver on the team‘s roster has ever logged more than 400 yards in a single NFL season.
But head coach Frank Reich spoke of the Colts’ wide receivers with confidence when he spoke to reporters on June 1. He also praised Pierce.
“He’s a very smart guy,” Reich said. “He really learned the attack quickly. He did a good job.
“He’s going to have to compete for every shot. It’s a very competitive group. But we are definitely pushing it.
Obviously, the high expectations for Pierce don’t just come from the media.
Advantages Pierce will have in the Offensive Rookie of the Year race
Even with plenty of playing time, Pierce remains a bold choice for rookie of the year. A wide receiver has only won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award three times in the past 18 seasons, and all three of those wides have been first-round picks.
But if there’s a year a second-round wide receiver has a shot at winning Offensive Rookie of the Year, it could be 2022.
“The 2022 rookie class does not include a quarterback who has a clear path to start Week 1 or a star running back, which opens up the possibility for an unlikely candidate to win Offensive Rookie of the Year,” said wrote Moton.
The 2022 NFL Draft saw 11 wide receivers selected ahead of Pierce, but Moton argued those players would come under more pressure to produce. Moton also picked the Colts rookie as the winner in part because of his quarterback.
“As first-round picks Drake London, Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, Jahan Dotson and Treylon Burks may get a lot of attention, but it’s safe to say Indianapolis Colts rookie Alec Pierce is in a better situation. quarterback with Matt Ryan than any of the days. 1 wide,” he wrote. “As for Jameson Williams, he may need a few weeks to get back to full speed as he recovers from a torn ACL.”
Pierce recorded 52 catches, 884 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns as a senior at Cincinnati last season. He’ll likely have to be at least in that range statistically to win Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Last season, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase became the first receiver to win Offensive Rookie of the Year since Odell Beckham Jr. in 2014. Chase had 81 receptions, 1,455 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns .