2014 NFL Draft: Dri Archer Scouting Report

By Vance Meek on Thursday, January 16th 2014
2014 NFL Draft: Dri Archer Scouting Report

College: Kent State

Height: 5’7”

Weight: 170 lbs

Class: Redshirt Senior

 

College Stats
Year Avg Rush Yds Rec Yds TD
2009 4.2 236 19 231 4
2010 3.5 140 16 75 2
2012 9.0 1,429 39 561 20
2013 7.8 527 25 327 10

 

Positives

Speed: Archer is a blur in the open field and just as quick as he is fast. His ability to get to his top speed in a blink is as great as any player in the draft, and makes him a threat to score from anywhere on the field. His agility stems from his tremendously quick feet, which enable him to make extraordinarily quick cuts, even in traffic. He bursts into rushing lanes, and once he gets into space, is difficult to get a hand on, much less tackle. Archer averaged over seven yards per carry, and twelve yards per reception in his career at Kent State, and his elite speed is the main reason.

Versatility: While listed as a running back at the collegiate level, Archer figures to be used in a variety of ways at the NFL level. Aside from his obvious skills carrying the ball, he also possesses the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. His consistency with his hands could be better, but he can be a weapon out of the slot with a little work. He was also a dangerous kick returner, with four returns for touchdowns, and a propensity to break long runs. As a pro, he’ll likely see time at multiple positions and has the tools to do all of them well. He could define the term offensive weapon.

 

Negatives

Size: One area of obvious deficiency is something he can’t do anything about. At just 5’7” and 170 lbs, he would immediately become one of the smaller players in the league. This makes him more prone to injury and body fatigue. It also limits his effectiveness as a blocker, and makes him less of a three-down running back and more of an offensive specialist. It doesn’t mean he can’t find success, but it certainly makes it tougher.

 

NFL Comparison

Dexter McCluster, Kansas City Chiefs

Aside from the similarities in size, McCluster and Archer share a skill set. McCluster was a college running back who, upon joining the Chiefs, became something more. He works out of the backfield as well as lining up as a receiver, not dominating at any one position, but putting together an impressive overall body of work. Archer could fill a similar role, finding multiple ways to contribute to an NFL team, and making a difference, using the natural skills he has.

 

Draft Outlook

Archer figures to put up impressive numbers at the combine, especially at the speed and agility drills. McCluster’s success will help teams to see what he can do, and his draft stock will benefit. He’s not likely to go in the first few rounds because of a lack of a definitive position, but he could find himself as a round three selection based on his athleticism and versatility.

 

Best Fit

There’s not a team in the NFL that couldn’t use a player like Dri Archer. Aside from the teams that already have a player performing that function, he fits anywhere. A team like the Denver Broncos, that has a quarterback capable of spreading the ball around would become even more dangerous on offense with a player like Archer.

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