2014 NFL Draft: Pittsburgh Steelers Find Own Version of Giovani Bernard in Dri Archer
The Pittsburgh Steelers are known for tough, smash-mouth football, but the drafting of dual-threat back Dri Archer will add speed and explosiveness to this clunky offense.
Despite Ben Roethlisberger‘s main receivers Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders being under 6-feet tall, Big Ben was able to help the Steelers finish with the 12th most passing yards in 2013. The ground game struggled as Pittsburgh finished 28th in rushing yards, but some of that was due to rookie Le’Veon Bell missing three games at the beginning of the season. Once he returned, the 6-foot-1, 244-pound bruiser was able to have an impressive year with 860 rushing yards, eight rushing touchdowns and 399 receiving yards.
Bell appears to be the starter for many years to come in Pittsburgh, but his running style only earned him a 3.5 yards per carry average in his rookie year. By adding the 250-pound LeGarrette Blount, the Steelers did not appear to be in favor of adding any diversity to the rushing attack. The team will find ways to get Blount involved, but the offense really needs a playmaker who can burn the tough defenses in the AFC North.
Much like Giovani Bernard was able to contribute his explosive speed and elusiveness to the passing and rushing attack for the Cincinnati Bengals, Archer will be able to bring the same skill-set to the Steelers. Between his junior and senior year at Kent State, Archer was able to total 1,956 yards rushing, 22 rushing touchdowns, 888 receiving yards and caught eight touchdown passes. He was also involved in the return game throughout his career, and the speedster was able to return three kickoffs to the house in his junior season. It is too difficult to tell how Mike Tomlin will get his new playmaker into the mix, but this is a draft pick that fans should be excited for.
Yes, there are other positional needs that the Steelers could have filled, but this team has always been known for taking value when it is presented, and Archer was too valuable to pass on.