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2015 NFL Draft Profile: Tony Pierson

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Tony Pierson put in four solid years at Kansas and finds himself hoping to make the leap to the next level

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

In the first game of his career, Tony Pierson reeled off a 47 yard touchdown run against McNeese State. For the next four years, Pierson's career was a tumultuous combination of highlight reel plays, concussion issues, and almost criminal underuse by offensive coordinators. Through it all, one thing remained certain: Tony Pierson can flat out run with a football.

2014 Stats

22 receptions

203 rec yards

72 rushes

323 rushing yards

3 total TDs

Pro Day/Combine Results

Height/Weight: 5'10", 173 lbs

40-yard dash: 4.41 seconds (fastest at KU pro day)

225 lb bench press: 9 reps

Vertical jump: 37 inches

Broad jump: 11'2" (tied for the longest at KU pro day)

3-cone drill: 6.85 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.28 seconds

60-yard shuttle: 11.44 seconds

Strengths

Tony Pierson's greatest asset is pure speed. Few players will be able to catch up to him in pads, making him a weapon for teams that can get him the ball in space.

Weaknesses

Despite his high-end speed, Pierson doesn't change directions especially well and has a hard time breaking tackles. His size and concussion history will also give teams a reason to hesitate before putting him on the field, and they may preclude him from returning kicks and punts (possibly his best shot at NFL playing time). He doesn't have the build to play running back in the NFL, and he didn't spend enough time at wide receiver to develop a refined skill set there.

Prediction

It's very unlikely that Pierson will be drafted, and the concerns about his size and concussion history could make it difficult for him to hang on to a roster spot. His best chance is to find his way into a camp and dazzle coaches with his kick return ability, which he rarely got to display at Kansas due to durability concerns. However, his pure speed in pads could be ideal for a career in the Arena League if he wanted to go that route.