The Patriots used their second fourth round pick (Pick 127) on South Dakota State Pierre Strong Jr. Strong is 5-11 205. He was a four year starter finishing his career with 4,527 yards and 40 touchdowns. Big time production for a back that was a two-star recruit coming of high school.
When you look at Strong physically, he is a long, lean running back who is a long strider and covers ground quickly in the open field. He should be a nice complement to Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson.
Here is my scouting report on Pierre Strong Jr.
Pierre Strong Jr. 5-11 205, South Dakota State
Inside Runner: A slashing one cut runner who hits the hole, stays square and accelerates through. Runs with good balance and vision but there isn’t much power to his style inside the tackles.
Outside Runner: Shows good speed to the corner. Stays patient and makes one hard cut up the alley. Once he hits the open field, he has a second gear to finish. Fluid off-tackle and outside. Runs outside zone with patience and has the footwork to square up and get vertical once he gets outside.
Elusive Runner: Strong can break a defender down in space and make him miss. Changes direction enough that he can be elusive at times but it is not his game. Strong is more of a straight line runner.
Power Runner: Strong is not a power runner. He runs with a good pad level and shows some pop in his pads but he isn’t going to bowl anyone over.
Blocker: Average pass blocker. Strong is not bad fundamentally but he needs to do a better job with his feet and play with more power on contact. Doesn’t strike like he should.
Hand Routes: Strong has reliable hands but he didn’t catch the ball a lot in his career so he will need to time to develop as a route runner and receiver out of the backfield.
Durability: Runs a little high and stiff at times. Takes a lot of unnecessary hits. Doesn’t run tough, especially inside the tackles. Strong hasn’t missed a game the last two years so he’s durable from that standpoint.
Running Style: Strong is a slasher. A one cut runner who squares up, accelerates and gets to the second level.
Final Thoughts: Strong was a highly productive college player who will fit in well in the Patriots offensive scheme. He will be a nice complement to Harris and Stevenson. If he can improve as a receiver, he could find himself getting a lot of touches as a rookie.