Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow May Soon Welcome Yet Another Weapon to Cincy’s Explosive Passing Game

Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals will enter the 2022 NFL regular season with one of the best offenses in football. While they already had explosive weapons around Burrow in Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Joe Mixon, and Tyler Boyd last year, they finally improved their offensive line this offseason by adding La’el Collins, Alex Cappa, and Ted Karras.

However, Cincy could make that offense even stronger by turning to a hometown hero in the 2022 NFL Draft: former Cincinnati Bearcats wide receiver Alec Pierce.

The Cincinnati Bengals appear to have an interest in Alec Pierce

Former Cincinnati Bearcats wide receiver Alec Pierce, who may soon go to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Former Cincinnati Bearcats wide receiver Alec Pierce. | Mike Calendrillo/Sportscasting

Perhaps it means nothing. Or maybe it means everything.

As the Bengals prepare for the upcoming NFL Draft, they seem interested in wide receiver Alec Pierce, who played a major role in leading the University of Cincinnati Bearcats to the College Football Playoff last season.

Earlier this month, Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network reported that the pass catcher had a top-30 visit with the Bengals. And on April 19, Pierce was one of several local stars to work out for Cincy.

According to Sports Illustrated’s All Bengals, the team worked out numerous players from UC, Ohio State, and Miami University. It also welcomed former local high school players who went off to other colleges. Alec Pierce was of the seven former Bearcats players. Linebackers Darrian Beavers and Joel Dublanko, defensive tackles Curtis Brooks and Marcus Brown, center Vincent McConnell, and wide receiver Michael Young joined him.

So, will the Bengals provide Joe Burrow with another weapon in Pierce? It’s hard to tell, but the latter would certainly make that offense even more potent.

Alec Pierce would be a great addition for Joe Burrow and the Bengals

The Bengals don’t have a shortage of talented pass-catchers. Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins gained over 1,000 yards last season, and Tyler Boyd had 828. However, the team lost a good chunk of production in the passing game earlier this offseason when it saw tight end C.J. Uzomah sign with the New York Jets.

So, given that Burrow will have more time to throw in 2022, why not improve the wide receiver room?

Pierce is a big body. He’s 6 feet, 3 inches tall and weighs 213 pounds. However, he’s also a freak athlete. The Illinois native ran a 4.41 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. Pierce caught 52 passes for 884 yards and eight touchdowns during his senior season. ESPN compares him to Jordy Nelson, while NFL.com says he resembles Donovan Peoples-Jones.

Pierce is projected to go in the second or third round, which means Cincy would likely have to pick him at No. 63 because he probably won’t be available when they go again at No. 95. That may be a bit of a reach, but his skills make him worth the risk.

All in all, Joe Burrow is coming off a magnificent season in which he threw for 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns, and he led the Bengals to the Super Bowl. However, he has the potential to develop into an MVP candidate in 2022, and Pierce’s size and athleticism (combined with the skills of Chase, Higgins, and Boyd) can help him reach his full potential.

Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference and Cincinnati Athletics

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