After addressing the defensive side of the ball with their first two picks of the 2014 NFL Draft with Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier and Notre Dame defensive end Stephon Tuitt, the Pittsburgh Steelers still have holes to fill at cornerback and wide receiver.
Yet Steelers’ general manager Kevin Colbert elected to throw another curveball when he selected Kent State running back Dri Archer.
Despite receivers such as South Carolina’s Bruce Ellington and Clemson’s Martavis Bryant on the board and corners such as Pierre Desir and Bashaud Breeland available, Colbert decided to add depth to the backfield instead.
Archer is small at 5’8” but has blazing speed.
He rushed for 1,429 yards and scored 16 touchdowns on the ground during his junior season and added four more scores through the air.
Last season he played in 10 games and rushed for 527 yards. Archer injured his left ankle during the first series of the ’13 season and was hampered for much of September.
Archer averaged an insane 7.2 yards per carry during his four seasons at Kent State. Despite making just 21 collegiate starts, he finished his Kent State career ranked among the school’s all-time leaders with 4,980 all-purpose yards and 40 touchdowns (24 rushing, 12 receiving, four kickoff returns).
Here’s a look at some film on Archer.
He will compete for a spot as the Steelers third running back when it is all said and done behind Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount.
Previous third-round picks since Mike Tomlin came aboard in 2007 include: Matt Spaeth (2007), Bruce Davis (2008), Kraig Urbik (2009), Mike Wallace (2009), Keenan Lewis (2009), Emmanuel Sanders (2010), Curtis Brown (2011), Sean Spence (2012) and Markus Wheaton (2013).
As you can see, the results have been mixed at best.
Where will Archer fall among that group?
Only time will tell.
The Steelers will be back on the clock in the fourth round when the draft continues Saturday afternoon.
They will have six picks during the final three rounds, which include picks in: Round 4 (118), Round 5 (157), Round 5 (173), Round 6 (192), Round 6 (215) and Round 7 (230).