The new age tight end. Players like Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, Antonio Gates and the like. Big, physical frames who can run like wide receivers and create matchup nightmares for opponents. That is the direction of the tight end position in pass-first offenses.
Pierce is a 6-foot-4, 230-pound tight end who can run and is an excellent receiving threat over the middle. He can run, giving him the ability to line up in the slot or as a traditional tight end. You can even isolate him on the outside in the red zone for fades into the end zone.
Between the 20s, Pierce is too big for defensive backs and too fast for linebackers. That gives Syracuse and coach Babers an uncommon weapon that gives them the potential for a lot of offensive creativity.
During Babers time as a head coach at Eastern Illinois and Bowling Green, he has never had a tight end as talented and possessing the skill set as Ravian Pierce. The potential here is intriguing to say the least and should have Syracuse fans excited.
The Orange got minimal production from the tight end position last season in terms of being a receiving threat. They also lose three players at the position, leaving Pierce with a golden opportunity to become the full-time starter right away.
We have seen what Babers and his offense can do with talents such as Amba Etta-Tawo. Pierce comes to Syracuse with more accolades and a higher ranking than Etta-Tawo. Since Amba rewrote the record book for Orange receivers, could Pierce do the same?
It is not crazy to think he could, considering he very well could see more targets on a consistent basis than previous Syracuse tight ends.
Expect Syracuse to use Pierce in a variety of ways. As a traditional tight end who can block and help the run game. Lining up in the slot to catch short, quick passes and get the ball in his hands. Stretching the field down the middle to give Syracuse a threat they simply did not have this past season.
Even lining up on the outside on occasion to put even more pressure on opposing defenses.
One thing is certain. Pierce is a big time talent. Syracuse won a recruiting battle over Oklahoma State and LSU to snag the coveted tight end. He gives the Orange a rare weapon in a receiver friendly offense. With the creativity and progressive offensive mind of Dino Babers, the possibilities here are endless.
This has the potential to be a big, big deal for Syracuse football.