RB Pierre Strong, Jr., South Dakota State is a powerfully compact and explosive runner who led the Jackrabbits to four straight playoff berths. His breakaway speed and ability to catch and run in one motion make him an intriguing prospect.

Strong is a three-time All-American and was twice a finalist for the Walter Payton Award, given to the top player in FCS. 36 career touchdowns, including 15 TD runs this season.

The Measurables


RB – #20 South Dakota State

HT: 5113
WT: 207
WING: 76 1/4″
ARM: 31 7/8″
HAND: 9 1/4″
DOB: 8/13/1997 (24.6)

Year: Redshirt Senior
High School: Mcclellan Magnet, Little Rock, AR

HS Rating: 2-star from Rivals, 0-star from 247

Phil Steele: 

Pierre Strong, Jr. Scouting Report

Breakaway speed. If Strong gets the ball in space with a step, you’re not catching him. He had 10 TD runs of over 50 yards and a 66-yard TD reception. In the Shrine Bowl, he took a short screen pass and scampered 65-yards for a score

Excellent vision as he enters the line of scrimmage on runs. Can anticipate openings before they appear and has the cutting ability to get to them. Has excellent ability to work his way through traffic and scrums.

When he finds the hole, he explodes through with outstanding burst. Doesn’t need a long runway to get going.

Shows grit and some knack for pass-protection. As a receiver, he’s more suited to screens and dumpoffs, but he showed the ability to turn those into a 9.5 yards per catch career average.

Although solidly built, still slightly undersized by current NFL standards and injuries/wear and tear were a factor late in his career. Was part of a two-back rotation where he was sometimes the odd-back out in 2-minute offense/game securing situations.

What we saw from Pierre Strong, Jr. in Indianapolis

  • Strong lived up to his name in Indianapolis, posting the best 40-time among RBs and adding excellent explosion numbers in the Broad Jump (10’4″) and Vertical Jump (36″). His performance certainly boosted his draft profile.

Post-Combine Projection

Pierre Strong’s speed testing, explosion numbers, and college productivity should solidify his draft prospects.

The current consensus view is that Strong is a 6th round pick, but his performance in Indy may have paved the way for a move up draft boards.

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By Wil Masisak

NFL & Draft curmudgeon. Witness to SBs III-LV. The old half of @osnsfb podcast & 25-year host of @SteelerFury Pittsburgh Steelers Show podcast. The only person you know who's been playing football for 50+ years.

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