It’s rare to see an undrafted rookie make a team, and its even rarer to see that player outperform first round picks. But that is exactly the case with Baltimore Ravens undrafted rookie defensive tackle Michael Pierce. Bleacher Report ranked Pierce as the number one rookie defensive tackle in Week 15.
Bleacher Report raved about Pierce’s strong showing against the run, even in a week where the Ravens run defense struggled. Bleacher Reports Doug Farrar wrote, “Pierce's dominant season as a run defender continued against the Eagles. His size (6'0", 339 pounds) and strength at the point of attack were overwhelming for Kelce. Pierce will never be a great pass-rusher, but his work against the run has been tremendous this season.”
Pierce topped the weekly rankings for the fourth time this season, the three other weeks being Week 9, 10 and 11. In each of the four respective games, Pierce has done a superb job as a backup to Brandon Williams, filling gaps and stopping opposing running backs before the line of scrimmage.
In Bleacher Reports’ rankings, Pierce has continually found himself in competition with the likes of Sheldon Rankins and Vernon Butler near the top of the rankings. Rankins and Butler, unlike Pierce, were not only drafted, but both were first round picks.
In his backup role, Pierce has 28 tackles, two sacks as a well as one blocked pass. Pierce is yet another example of the Ravens coaching and front office staff’s incredible ability to find diamonds in the rough.