2014 NFL Draft: Where Does Combine Speedster Dri Archer Fit in the NFL?

BJ KisselContributor IApril 8, 2014

Kent State running back Dri Archer runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy

There has been a lot of talk about Kent State running back Dri Archer since he blew away the NFL combine with a 4.26 40-yard dash.

That happened to be the second-fastest 40 time in combine history, just behind Chris Johnson's 4.24 time from 2008.

It's obviously a record Johnson is proud to keep.

We know that Archer has game-breaking speed based on his play in college and impressive combine performance, but where does he fit on an NFL team's roster?

Archer told Matthew Florjancic of WKYC in Cleveland, "I see myself all over. I'm a versatile player. Wherever I can help a team out, I'll be happy to do it." He added, "I'm a running back at heart. I just love to have the ball in my hands."

Bleacher Report NFL draft lead writer Matt Miller compared Archer to former Kansas City Chief and current Tennessee Titan Dexter McCluster:

The biggest issue with Archer has to do with his size. He's just 5'8" and 173 pounds, and durability has been a concern for him after he missed two games with injuries last season.

Could he hold up in the physical play at the NFL level?

The answer to that question, combined with how NFL teams would utilize his skill set, determines Archer's value in the pros.

How many snaps would he warrant with his varied skill set?

We know he has blazing speed and showed that off in many ways throughout his collegiate career, but he's not a third-down back in the NFL because of his size, as pass protection would be an issue.

Archer's best fit will likely be as a return specialist who could sneak his way into a few plays on offense designed specifically for him.

He possesses a trait that NFL defenses will have to respect and pay attention to any time he steps onto the field.

Thanks to the folks at DraftBreakdown.com, here's a look at one way Kent State used Archer during his career:

BJ Kissel - Draft Breakdown video

NFL teams could use Archer in similar ways, just like the Seattle Seahawks found ways to get Percy Harvin involved in their offense against the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl.

Here's the second play from scrimmage from the Seahawks against the Broncos:

BJ Kissel - NFL Rewind

Archer and Harvin are different players, but with some commonalities in their skill set, NFL teams could find similar ways to get the ball in Archer's hands.

The speed and vision Archer displays on special teams as well as on offense is special, and it's something that'll likely give him an opportunity in the NFL. Just how creative teams are willing to be with him will determine his value.

The higher Archer goes in the draft, the more you can assume the team has discussed creative ways to use him on offense.

For a player with his skill set, that has to get fans of the team that takes him excited about his big-play potential.