Dri Archer An Interesting Pick For Pittsburgh Steelers

By Alec Riffe
Dri Archer Pittsburgh Steelers
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

In the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected running back Dri Archer. This was a little bit of a questionable pick, though it could work out well for Pittsburgh.

The Steelers already selected running back Le’Veon Bell in last year’s draft in the second round, and he performed extremely well. I believe that GM Kevin Colbert was thinking of a Darren Sproles or a Dexter McCluster with this pick.

Archer will be a speedy back, something Steelers fans haven’t really had the chance to thoroughly enjoy since the days of Willie Parker. He is very slight at 5-foot-8 and 174 pounds. Though he will be used a little bit in the offensive backfield, Archer’s main usage will come from screen passes, kick returns and punt returns. This allows Antonio Brown to focus more on catching balls from Ben Roethlisberger.

Archer’s position may as well be offensive weapon, because that’s exactly what he is. The Steelers haven’t had a scary fast player in a while. They’ve hardly fielded a fast team period in a long time. The trend of the league is to have at least a few players who can flat out run and create explosive plays. The Steelers severely lacked explosion last year. Sometimes all it takes is a spark, and many times in 2013 they did could not get that spark. Archer can provide that.

The Steelers’ depth chart at running back now has Bell shouldering the load with LeGarrette Blount and Archer spelling him, two bruisers and a speedster. I like this combination as all three are very talented, and this backfield can either pound a defense with great physicality or spread out and play with four wide receivers. This is especially the case when you consider that Bell is extremely proficient at catching the Ball.

Overall, Archer doesn’t fill a real positional need, but he is explosive and can play a key role on offense and special teams because he makes the Steelers more explosive. There weren’t great corners left in the third, so that helps the grade a little bit.

Grade: B

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