Ht – 5’11” Wt – 207lb Class – SR
2021 Stats – 240 Att, 1686 RuYds (7 YPC), 18 TD, 22 Rec, 150 RecYds (15 Games Played)
Career Stats – 631 Att, 4527 RuYds (7.2 YPC), 40 TD, 62 Rec, 581 RecYds (48 Games Played)
Vision – Good vision, but not great. Showed a lack of patience and anticipation, but not to a fault. He still had instances of hitting developing holes very well.
Elusiveness – Doesn’t have a wide array of moves. Strong has a great jump cut but that is it. His start-and-stop ability is above average, and he uses that to assist his jump-cuts.
Agility – While his change-of-direction ability is good, he is extremely stiff as a runner. He runs very upright and doesn’t seem like a fluid mover. Of course, this isn’t a big deal for Running Backs, but it’s worth noting. His outstanding contact balance helps counteract this.
Blocking – Uses great size to blow up blitzers, and he is very formidable as a blocker as a result. He can stonewall defenders using his size, and he can lock them up with great hand placement.
Explosiveness – Pierre Strong Jr has true top-end speed and uses it to be a consistent home-run threat. Once he gets to the second level, it’s hard to imagine he won’t score, using his breakaway speed, his contact balance, and size.
Burst – Phenomenal burst through the line. At times, this even caused his lack of patience, as he was very eager to burst through the hole. Still, with a hole in front of him, few are more dangerous than Strong Jr.
Receiving – Oh, the curious case of Pierre Strong Jr’s receiving ability. At times, he was able to use elite route breaks and cuts to create yards of separation against Linebackers. He seems to have good hands and average ball-tracking. However, defenses often left him wide open with over a dozen yards of empty grass ahead of him. In many of those cases, the QB still didn’t target him or even look his way. This could point to mistrust by the QB and defenses in his receiving ability. On the other hand, it may not be wise to put too much stock into FCS QB decision-making, or FCS coaching.
Combine – Pierre Strong Jr’s Combine put him on the map. Pre-Combine, he was hardly discussed as an impact player, and couldn’t be seen anywhere near the second round. Now, many scouts are running back the tape and placing him as a Top 5 ‘Back.
Pierre Strong Jr is a fantastic Running Back, and his very gaudy stats (despite playing in the FCS) point to that. He was dominant for the SDSU Jackrabbits, and he was a constant touchdown threat. Interestingly, he was a very homerun-or-strikeout type player. There were few 5-yard runs, and while he had tons of huge plays, he had many no-gain plays or negative plays as well.
Still, when analyzing important traits for Running Backs, he has it all. He is a big back with great explosive speed, who displayed great burst and good enough vision. His receiving ability makes him a potential 3-down back at the next level. His good blocking means he won’t be a liability on passing downs.
Of course, there are many negatives to focus on. The lower level of competition, the stiffness, the career mileage, and the lack of patience are all noteworthy. However, those don’t seem like negatives that should lower his stock too much. I feel PSJ can be a true bruising 3-down back for years to come.
See Pierre Strong Jr’s overall ranking among other players on my Big Board.