Pro Bowl Player
Been busy with 2023 prospects, life and work but I know someone asked me about Strong last week via pm.
Pierre Strong is a very deliberate pick. Very different from the bruising downhill style of Rham truck & Harris. Truly a great compliment to their power, contact balance and ability to run downhill. Strong might lack in some of those areas but he really brings something different and shapes up this group nicely.
Hes got serious acceleration and fast twitch. Which after patience/setting up your blocks, is the most important thing for stretch plays, OZ. Basically has one gear but he gets to 0-100 real quick. Good long speed. Some guys run a fast 10-20 yard split some need that first 10 yards to build up that speed. Strong gets into top gear extremely fast. I mentioned it above but he's very good, very patient setting up his blocks and using his blockers to his advantage. He'll help himself a lot by setting up the 2nd level where people will just see his speed. It can be a detriment as well bc he'll get stuck in the 1st level at times but he's not the most versatile back in terms of what you'll run so you live with the shortcomings and commit to his strengths. He does a nice job shaping the landscape to his liking in the 2nd and 3rd levels. Of course having 4.3 speed doesn't hurt. And speed is a funny thing. I always go back to Josh Boyce bc he's an easy example. He was lightning fast but couldn't utilize in the game. What does that mean? He couldn’t keep that speed while adjusting his stem or path in-route. He couldn't stop/start fast with a person shadowing him. Sure he's fast running a 40 but football is hardly a straight line. Strong is very good at keeping full speed while shifting a little bit, changing his path, weaving through defenders. One of the more impressive things about his game. He's got some nice COD at full speed. Not so much bounce around like Barry Sanders COD but shifting, turning while keeping top speed.
I like his rec upside but there's not a lot to go in terms of tape, r/r potential. He hung around the flat most of the time. You'd like to see more r/r but he's comfortable in the moment which matters to me. Seems to have soft hands. No clapping or unnatural technique catching the ball. Like pass pro not a lot of reps in this department. So making a concrete judgment this early wouldn't be wise. He doesn't freak out or look uncomfortable though so I think there's decent potential there if we utilize him and coach him up behind the scenes. I'm praying to old AND new gods we utilize Rham in that department! I've said this a few times last year but please give him some work in the MOF on those option routes. He's got some nice wiggle and shake for 225-230 and can handle the added responsibilities I believe. I'd love to see him and Harris catch just a few more passes early in the game.
Pass pro is iffy, I'd like to say "hit or miss" but I got more "miss" than hits looking at the collective. He's very willing and capable but was extremely hesitant on certain rushes. Extremely might be too much. The hesitancy and indecision were noticeable, technique wasn't terrible but there also wasn't a ton of reps to go through to critique or praise. Not a lot of examples either way. When he was in on the action I got an inconsistent vibe from a technical standpoint. Dropped his head on occasion, hand placement could definitely improve. Urgency and attitude could also improve. I remember saying last years class overriding trait was "attitude" from Mac to Barmore to Rham. Rham had serious issues in pass pro coming into the league (I believe I mentioned that in his thread after the draft) but has major attitude and fight. I'd like to see Strong be a little more aggressiveness in this department.
Alluded to his vision above. Definitely above average. Skill set limits usage in a sense bc he's not an in between the tackles runner but he really makes use of it setting up himself up once he gets away from the 1st level of defenders.
He's also a big time play waiting to happen. Multiple 1k seasons, multiple big runs 10 +, averaged 7 + per clip and 40 + TD. That's not a fluke and what you want to see. Again not sure about #'s and expectations this year but he'll absolutely contribute and have a role sooner rather than later imo.
Feels like Bill pulled the trigger on Strange - to fill the only real need - and then threw the keys to the kids : )
(he has enough Cap to buy a whole new team if need be over the next years..)
Both RB picks were head scratchers tbh and seeing White already practicing makes it even more so.
Its such an easy and cheap position to plug and play vets .. but Pats obviously like to draft them fwtr..
Both have a long way to go in PP and rec but unlike JJ at least they have the physique..
Im not too optimistic on PP front for Strong tbh.
He will make the 53 but it will be hard to find snaps for him wo PP or rec.
ST + gadget plays might be his way to the active roster..
He will be valuable on scout teams though..