Dri Archer NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Steelers RB

Ryan LownesFeatured ColumnistApril 2, 2014

Kent State's Dri Archer (1) runs the ball into the end zone on a 79-yard run during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Bowling Green, , Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Bowling Green, Ohio. (AP Photo/J.D. Pooley)

Dri Archer, RB, Kent State (HT: 5’7⅜”, WT: 173 lbs.)

Pittsburgh Steelers

Third Round: 97th Pick

NFL Comparison: Dexter McCluster, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

Combine Weigh-in
507317331"8 7/8"
Combine Workout
40-yd dash10-yd splitVertBroad3-ConeShuttle


  • Incredible speed, has an extra gear. Posted the second fastest 40-yard dash time in NFL Scouting Combine history.
  • Exceptional lateral agility, changes direction well. Displays impressive footwork and body awareness.
  • Very quick to bounce outside and can be lethal once he has rounded the corner. Isolates and beats defenders in space.
  • Demonstrates vision to find cutback lanes, helping him to break off huge chunks of yardage.
  • Combines quickness with quick decision-making, a creative runner.
  • Has the speed to threaten vertically as a receiver.
  • Speed and elusiveness allows him to gain yardage after the catch.
  • Can make defenders miss in the open field, showing plenty of wiggle.
  • Light, nimble feet to side-step defenders.
  • Possesses a low center of gravity, slips tackles.
  • Lines up in the slot and releases quickly from the line of scrimmage.
  • Explosive kick return ability, returned three kicks for touchdowns as a junior.
  • Shows some toughness and grit despite lack of ideal size, will run between the tackles decisively.
  • Very versatile with the ability to line up in several spots in the formation, his presence forces opponents to cover the entire field.
  • Surprisingly strong, bench pressed 225 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine.
  • Averaged nine yards per carry in his extremely productive junior season.


  • Undersized at just 5’7 3/8”, 173 pounds, lacking height and the bulk to withstand NFL punishment. Is fairly narrow and does not have much growth potential.
  • Lacks power to grind out tough yardage between the tackles.
  • Average balance, broke some tackles in college but will face stronger, faster defenders at the next level.
  • Ball security is a concern, is very fumble prone.
  • Suffers from concentration drops and is a body-catcher.
  • Limited catch radius, does not make catches outside his frame look easy.
  • Occasionally bites off more than he can chew, losing yardage in an attempt to create something spectacular.
  • Small hands measuring only 8 7/8” may be a liability.
  • Can be easily overpowered in pass protection and technique is poor. Drops his eyes and lunges at pass-rushers’ feet.
  • Was limited by injuries as a senior and may have long-term durability issues to lack of size.
  • A difficult projection. May not be big or powerful enough to earn a significant role in the backfield and could lack the natural catching ability to be an effective slot receiver.
Rushing Statistics
2010Kent State582464.21
2011Kent State401403.51
2012Kent State1591,4299.016
2013Kent State685277.86
Receiving Statistics
2010Kent State1923112.23
2011Kent State16754.71
2012Kent State3956114.44
2013Kent State2532713.14


Personal Notes

  • Third team All-MAC as both a wide receiver and kick returner 2013
  • Offensive team captain 2013
  • Missed two games in 2013 due to injury and was limited in others
  • 2012 MAC Special Teams Player of the Year
  • 2012 first team All-MAC running back and kick returner
  • 2012 third team All-American all-purpose player 
  • Business management major


Ratings Chart




The second fastest man in NFL Scouting Combine history, Dri Archer blew scouts away with his speed and agility. Though hampered by injury as a senior, his junior tape may be enough to convince teams he is worthy of finding a place for on the roster.

He will have to be utilized cleverly at the next level, however, as he is more of an undersized running back than a natural slot receiver. Regardless of limitations, he is the type of dynamic weapon who coaches work into a game plan.


Draft Projection: Fourth Round