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Fantasy spin: Ravens RB Bernard Pierce

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Recent posts by William Del Pilar

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Posted April 28, 2012 @ 5:06 a.m. ET
By William Del Pilar

With Ricky Williams retiring, the Ravens were in need of a quality backup. They have always fielded a deep RB corps but found themselves thin at the position — especially with Ray Rice still without a long-term contract.

At 6-0¼ and 218 pounds, third-round pick Bernard Pierce has the size to play in the NFL but has questions with durability. He suffered shoulder, hand, ankle and hamstring injuries in college. Some believe he could be insurance for Rice, but with his injury history he is better-suited in a complementary and change-of-pace role. He doesn’t have the burst or ability to make tacklers miss as Rice does. If he struggled to stay healthy against poor run defenses, how will he do against an NFL defense?

Pierce has room to grow and get bigger and stronger to avoid the injury-prone tag. He uses his natural run skills to let holes develop and can also bounce to the outside when needed. That’s a knock, as well, as some think he may bounce outside too soon because he doesn’t like to get hit.

The Ravens' track record shows his value will only be as a handcuff to Rice, and even if Rice goes down, there is no guarantee he can get the job done, despite his size.

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