Steelers draft Kent State speedster Archer in 3rd round
With a coveted big receiver still on the board, the Steelers decided to go the totally opposite direction, and position.
The Steelers selected diminutive, yet speedy third-down-type running back Dri Archer from Kent State with their third-round pick Friday despite Clemson's 6-foot-5 wide receiver Martavis Bryant — a player the Steelers liked — still on the board.
“No. 1, I think Coach (Mike) Tomlin will say the same thing and that's we are looking for good football players,” Steelers running back coach James Saxon said. “We want players to come in here and help contribute to win. This kid, no question, has that type of ability.”
With Archer, it's all about the speed for the 5-8, 173-pounder.
Archer ran a 4.26-second 40-yard dash at the combine (second-fastest recorded time since 2006), but some scouts timed him at a sub-4.2.
“The kid can run,” Saxon said. “That's obvious, and you can see that on tape and there's no denying that. The kid is a special football player with the ball in his hand.”
Archer had a solid career at Kent State catching 99 passes and 12 touchdowns and rushing for 2,342 yards and 24 touchdowns on 325 carries. He battled through injuries his senior year that limited his effectiveness.
“It's a dream come true,” Archer said. “I know I am going to be with a great organization.”
Archer is the kind of player that offensive coordinator Todd Haley has tried to integrate into his offense ever since arriving with the Steelers before the 2012 season.
The Steelers drafted Chris Rainey that year with thoughts of him playing the role of third-down and change-of-pace back, but that didn't work out, and the Steelers released him after his rookie year.
The Steelers tried veteran LaRod Stephens-Howling last year, but the veteran was lost for the season in the opener, leaving the role unfilled.
“Whatever way we can find to get this kid the ball or to have involved in our offense, we are going to do that,” Saxon said.
“Todd Haley is going to do a great job with that and we are all going to get together and get this guy in right place.”
Archer will also fill the need of kickoff returner for the Steelers even though he didn't participate much in special teams during his senior year. He returned only two kicks, but one he took back 100 yards for a touchdown.
“This organization just got another potentially great football player,” Saxon said. “He is going to be a dynamic football player with his hand in the ball.”
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers notebook: Keisel dresses, but doesn’t play
- Starkey: Stupid Steelers
- Distracted Steelers show nothing in loss to Eagles
- It’s only exhibition, but these Steelers could solidify roster spots vs. Eagles
- Steelers running backs Bell, Blount will face drug charges
- Commitment by Steelers’ Gilbert pays off
- Rossi: Blount brings back Steelers’ swagger
- Steelers believe Wheaton ready to step in as No. 2 receiver
- Steelers re-sign Keisel to bolster depth on defensive line
- Steelers are hoping to mirror Eagles’ full-bore, no-huddle offense
- Run game not primary focal point for Steelers