With the 84th pick in the 2012 NFL draft, the Ravens on Friday night selected Temple running back Bernard Pierce. Pierce is expected to compete with Anthony Allen for the backup spot behind Pro Bowl back Ray Rice.
Pierce, 21, left Temple after his junior season. He finished second in school history with 3,570 rushing yards and his 663 rushing attempts were third all-time at Temple. He had back-to-back 1,000 rushing yard seasons.
Pierce, who met with the Ravens before the draft, told reporters on a conference call that he exchanged text messages with Ravens coach John Harbaugh throughout the third round and Harbaugh told him the Ravens were trying to move up to get him. They eventually made it happen by trading the 91st (third round) and the 164th (fifth round) to the Atlanta Falcons for the 84th pick (third round). Minutes later, they drafted Pierce.
At 6-foot and 218 pounds, Pierce is the kind of big-bodied back the Ravens lost when Ricky Williams retired. He said he hopes to contribute immediately and would welcome getting the ball in short-yardage situations.