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Lions scouting report: Casey Pierce

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A look at Detroit Lions undrafted free agent Casey Pierce and how he fits into the team's plans in 2015.

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Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports
TE Casey Pierce (Kent State) - Undrafted free agent

Given all of their injury issues at tight end last year, the Detroit Lions found out how important it is to have extra depth at the position just in case. In 2014, that meant promoting Jordan Thompson from the practice squad and signing Kellen Davis. This year, perhaps Casey Pierce will emerge as their backup plan after being signed as an undrafted free agent.

Measurables

Height: 6-foot-3 | Weight: 244 pounds

Stats

2011: 3 catches, 25 yards
2012: 1 catch, 10 yards
2013: 33 catches, 364 yards, 5 TD
2014: 60 catches, 641 yards, 6 TD

(via Sports-Reference.com)

Random fact

Pierce played in the 2015 Senior Bowl and was teammates with Laken Tomlinson, Ameer Abdullah and Quandre Diggs, who were all selected by the Lions during the draft. Pierce caught two passes for 36 yards during the game.

What the experts are saying

Hustle Belt:

As a fifth-year senior, Pierce led the team in receptions (60), receiving yards (641) and touchdown catches (6). When a tight end is leading a team in all of those categories, it's almost always either because it's still the 1930s or the rest of the offense is just that bad. While a lot of other players may have struggled to put Pierce in a better position to perhaps have better numbers, they were still good enough for him to earn Second Team All-MAC honors after this past season.

NFL.com:

Can line up in a variety of spots. Offers formation versatility and a willingness to do the dirty work as a blocker. He won't do much on the ground after the catch, but he has reliable hands and the competitive temperament to give himself a legitimate shot of making a roster, likely for a West Coast offense.

CBS Sports:

Antonio Gates is the best tight end Kent State has produced, but since he played basketball in college, Pierce is the most productive tight end prospect in Golden Flashes history.

He led the team as a senior in receiving with 60 catches for 641 yards and six touchdowns, breaking the previous school record for receptions by a tight end (47). Pierce earned an invitation to the 2015 Senior Bowl and didn't waste the time of the NFL representatives in attendance, showing off his well-rounded skill-set as both a receiver and blocker.

Pro Football Focus:

Was the lone Kent State player with a positive receiving grade. Lined up in the slot or out wide on 26% of his snaps.

Videos

(via Draft Breakdown)

Outlook for 2015

Unless Brandon Pettigrew, Eric Ebron or Joseph Fauria suffers an injury, it's tough to imagine Pierce having a shot at a spot on the 53-man roster this year. Even so, he should be in the mix for the practice squad, although he will likely have to beat out Thompson to stick around.

Previous scouting reports

Draft picks: OG Laken TomlinsonRB Ameer AbdullahCB Alex CarterDT Gabe WrightFB Michael BurtonCB Quandre DiggsOT Corey Robinson

UDFAs: QB Anthony BooneRB Zach ZennerRB Desmond MartinRB Rasheed WilliamsWR Vernon JohnsonWR Jared Haggins