Dri Archer is the blurriest kind of burner and at a hair under 5-foot-8 and 173 pound with a 4.26 time in the 40-yard dash, Archer should provide an incredible impact on the Steelers special teams.
But can he contribute at running back, the position he played in college? That’s the question the Pittsburgh Steelers are asking themselves having drafted him last month.
NFL.com’s Albert Breer noted:
” … the X-factor here could be explosive rookie Dri Archer, who has been tagged internally as a miniature version of Jamaal Charles, who [OC] Todd Haley coached in Kansas City.”
Jamaal Charles is 5-foot-11 and 199 pounds. Archer is, in fact, a miniature compared to Charles. And thus, his touches will also be miniature when compared to Charles, who managed 329 last season. Archer will be much better served as an X-Factor, a change-of-pace running back. He has poor pass protection and is easily overpowered, so he might be something of a one-trick pony to start. But those deficiencies might make him a tough play on third down. Unless, of course, he split out wide in the slot. That’s why he should not be pinned as a miniature Charles. He should be pinned as a Dexter McCluster type.
McCluster, former Ole Miss Black Bear, made his start in the NFL on special teams returns. He had only 280 yards from scrimmage in his rookie season. After a while, the Chiefs experimented with him in the run and passing game. McCluster found ways to get into open space, and made a niche for himself. Dri Archer should follow in his footsteps, not Jamaal Charles’.