Dri Archer, the dynamic and diminutive “offensive weapon” from the Kent State Golden Flashes, enters the 2014 NFL Draft after one of the most productive careers in school history…Ended the 2013 season with 527 yards rushing (7.8 ypc) and 327 yards receiving despite missing time with an early-season ankle injury; Had a remarkable 2012 season in which he totaled 1,429 yards rushing (with an astounding 9.0 ypc) and 561 yards receiving (also managed to score 20 total TDs in ’12)…For his career, Archer has totaled 2,342 yards rushing, 1,194 yards receiving and 36 TDs; Also a dynamic return man who totaled 1,436 yards and 4 TDs on kickoff returns…Was named Third Team All-MAC at the end of 2013 (was named First Team All-MAC in 2012)…Physically, Archer is as “small” as his measureables suggest; He lacks the mass and overall body weight to hold up as a running back in the NFL, and doesn’t have the height or length to suggest success as an outside receiver. He is best-suited for the slot position in the pros…Athletically, Archer has few (if any) peers in the 2014 NFL Draft when it comes to straight-line speed; Once he gets past the second level, he is off to the races…Few NFL defenders will be able to run Archer down from behind…While he isn’t an elite wiggle guy, his speed keeps defenders on their heels and even subtle moves in the open field work for him…Possesses good vision and overall feel for cutback angles when running in space; Is a big play waiting to happen…Exhibits decent hands, although he has some lapses of concentration on tape…When lined up as a running back, Archer displays a nice feel for the defense’s flow and movement and maximizes cutback and big play opportunities; Is more of an outside runner who can cut off his blocks or back against the grain…As a receiver, Archer displays a quick burst off the LOS and the ability to flip the field in a hurry; A bona-fide playmaker in both the intermediate and long passing games…Thrives in space; A challenge for any defender to stay with for an extended period of time.
Archer lacks the necessary power/strength to break tackles on the next level; He lacks the body type and overall playing style to run inside in the pros…Needs to become a more refined route runner to consistently win versus NFL athletes; While he will still be faster than most corners, he will need to become crisper into and out of his breaks.
On the next level, Dri Archer projects as a slot receiver capable of making a game-changing play in the blink of an eye. While his size is a concern, I think he has some “Desean Jackson” in him in terms of his potential as a playmaker in the passing game. While Archer isn’t nearly the refined receiver that Jackson was coming out, he has the same kind of freakish speed that simply trumps technique and experience at times. Archer’s added value on special teams enhances his overall draft stock and he will be a rookie that sees the field from week one of his rookie season (as a return man.). If Archer can stay healthy and continue at his craft of becoming a true receiver, he has a chance to become one of the bigger steals in the entire Draft. Due to his below average size, lack of strength and less than ideal wiggle, he’s likely to be a Day 3 guy. Speed kills, though, and Archer has more of it than anyone else in this year’s group.
|40 YD||20 YD||10 YD||225 BENCH||VERTICAL JUMP||BROAD||SHUTTLE||3-CONE DRILL|
GRADE: 6.4 (4th Round)