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2017 Broncos roster: Running back Bernard Pierce

A crowded backfield can only be a good thing for the Denver Broncos heading into training camp.

NFL: Denver Broncos-OTA Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Name: Bernard Pierce
Position: RB
Height: 6’0" Weight: 222 lbs
Age: 26 Experience: 5th
College: Temple

Pierce was an early offseason addition, signing with the Denver Broncos in January. Since then, the Broncos have drafted D’Angelo Henderson and signed Jamaal Charles. Both moves signal a desire to see the running back position bolstered for a long, grueling 16-game season in which the Broncos have yet to keep their backs healthy throughout that stretch.

After starting his career with the Baltimore Ravens, he saw a promising rookie campaign turn into a struggle to regain that fast start. He was ultimately cut by the New York Jets prior to the 2016 season and spent last year out of football.

The Good

He has very good size, which could make him a nice short yardage back. In his rookie season, Pierce averaged almost 5 yards a carry. However, with almost 50 more carries in his second seasons, he gained 100 fewer yards.

Pierce will need to rekindle that first season of his career if he is able to stick around on this deep Broncos running back class.

The Bad

Pierce spent two games on suspension in 2016 for a 2015 incident where he was arrested for a DUI. He correctly predicted that his arrest would lead to him losing his job, telling the arresting officer, “Do you know what happened the last time a Ravens player got a DUI? I'm getting cut tomorrow, not like you care.“

It also didn’t help that he wasn’t contributing much to the running game, averaging just 3.27 yards per carry over his last two seasons with the Ravens.



Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro talked about the Broncos running back situation on Wednesday. The discussion didn’t net a single mention of Pierce and that might be all we need to know about his chances of making the roster.

While Pierce wasn’t mentioned, Shapiro has talked about him on a number of occasions.

If Pierce is to make the roster, he will need to show the Broncos something during training camp. If he can recapture the success and elusiveness he showed in his rookie season, then he might be a surprise 53-man roster addition.