Updated: Jun 7
There are two attributes in football that cannot be taught, those being size and length.
At 6'2, Florida Atlantic University cornerback James Pierre has both of these attributes; now sprinkle some 4.5 speed with a 33' inch vertical, what you have is a player with incredible physical attributes.
In an April 15th article from FAU's publication called the University Press, contributing writer Trey Avant was quick to point out about Pierre's athleticism. According to Avant, all Pierre needed was the right NFL team that would enable him to utilize his strengths.
"His physical gifts and ball skills are too enticing for teams to pass up on and he would be a quality depth piece in the right system."
Last season with the Owls, Pierre was a key component of their defensive unit, that helped guide his team to nine wins last season. In all, he contributed three interceptions, with seven tackles and 44 total tackles. Through Phil Steele Magazine, he received preseason fourth-team Conference USA honors, as well as the Spring Most Improved Defensive Award, prior to the beginning of the season. Throughout the course of the 2019 season, Pierre proved to be a standout player on defense. In week 8 against Western Kentucky, he collected two interceptions and received C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors for his efforts.
Even with desirable physical attributes, one may question why he was passed up during this year's NFL Draft. In his article, Avant detailed some technical deficiencies which may have lowered his draft stock. He also suggested that Pierre would have benefited from returning for his senior year in order to correct these issues.
"While Pierre has the physical measurements to stack up in the NFL, he lacks the fundamentals needed to compete in the NFL right now. Another season at FAU could have helped him shore up his coverage technique and boost his draft stock for the 2021 NFL Draft."
For the Pittsburgh Steelers, who currently have a solid corps of cornerbacks, which features veterans Joe Haden and Steven Nelson, Pierre will have his work cut out for him to make an impression to the coaching staff. Yet they could benefit from a cornerback that can cover tight ends. Considering his physical attributes, Pierre could be the type of player who is too good to pass up.