Denver Broncos: Can Bernard Pierce make the team?

May 23, 2017; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running back Bernard Pierce (30) during organized training activities at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
May 23, 2017; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running back Bernard Pierce (30) during organized training activities at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

Can Bernard Pierce resurrect his career and latch onto the Denver Broncos roster this season?

In January, Bernard Pierce signed a one year $775,000 future deal with the Denver Broncos. He will be battling to make the team this summer during training camp. The roster is jammed with a few talented running backs, but Pierce plans to carve his way onto the team’s active roster by the end of preseason.

Pierce went to college at Temple where he started immediately as a freshman, rushing for 1,361 yards and 16 touchdowns. He carried his dominance over to his sophomore and junior seasons, rushing for a total of 2,239 yards and 37 touchdowns during his final two seasons.

One key note to add about his collegiate career, he was almost nonexistent in the passing game, catching 19 receptions for 178 yards and one touchdown during his three year collegiate career. He was second in the nation in touchdowns from scrimmage with 27 during his junior season and he led the MAC in rushing in two of his three seasons with the Temple Owls.

When it comes to athleticism, He has enough speed to make something happen at the NFL level. At the Combine, he tested with a 4.49-second 40-yard dash while weighing 218 pounds. He also tested with a 36-inch vertical which suggests that he has enough burst to get through the hole and reach the second level of the defense.

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His 7.07 three-cone time, which ranks in the 51st percentile amounts running back prospects, isn’t anything to write home about, because it insinuates that he lacks the short area quickness to juke-out defenders in the open field.

He was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft. There he played three seasons, starting just three games, rushing for a grand total of 1,334 yards and five touchdowns. He was utilized sparingly in a committee during the duration of his stay in Baltimore.

In 2015, he signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars where he rushed for just 11 yards on six carries.  After his tenure in Jacksonville, he decided to sign with the New York Jets for a one year $760k deal but was released from the team before the 2016 regular season.

With C.J. Anderson, Devontae Booker and Jamaal Charles currently on the roster, there isn’t really much room left on the roster for Pierce to make an impact for the team. Not to mention the team drafted D’Angelo Henderson in the sixth round of this year’s draft. The competition is going to be very steep and he will need to be flawless in camp and in the preseason games for him to stick on the roster.

When it comes to running style and talent, he is very similar to C.J. Anderson, because both backs are downhill runner with a enough size and quickness to make defenders pay at the point of contact. They are both decisive runners who are very good at picking their spots before making their move toward the line of scrimmage. Pierce is currently a redundant asset, since the team currently has a similar type of player in C.J. Anderson, making it even harder for Pierce to latch onto the active roster.

An injury to one of the top running backs on the roster could be the best thing to ever happen to him, because he might need something like that to help him wedge in to a considerable role with the team.

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At one time he was a prominent running back prospect with a lot of potential but right now it seems like he’s hanging by a thread to remain in the league. This could be his last shot to be an NFL back. He has enough talent to make an impact for the team, but he will need some luck to fall his way for him to make the roster. If anything, he’s a player to keep an eye one throughout training camp and the preseason.