The Buffalo Bills have added yet another player who could compete for a receiving role to their roster. The team claimed former Pittsburgh Steelers third-round pick Dri Archer off of waivers from the New York Jets. While Archer has game breaking speed, he has never been able to put everything together on the football field. That likely will not change, and as a result Archer may have some difficulty in making the team’s final roster.
As mentioned earlier, Archer is a fast player. He ran a 4.26 in the 40-yard dash during the Combine leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft. When he was with the Steelers, he played mostly on special teams as a returner and was generally decent. He averaged 22.4 yards per kick return during his career, but that was about it. He never really was able to succeed as a runner or received, and he only receiver 10 carries and caught 7 passes during his career.
Essentially, Archer is a player who has one trait with immense upside, and not much else. He really does not project well at the running back position given his size (5-foot-8, 173 pounds) and it is hard to imagine him faring too well at receiver given the size of defensive backs he would be facing.
However, it seems like the Bills will be using him as a receiver and definitely as a return man. The team has long wanted to add a speed element in the receiving corps, but none of their options have panned out. Percy Harvin was injury prone and ineffective, and Marquise Goodwin was too inconsistent to be a deep threat for them. Perhaps Archer could give them the dimension that they desire.
Then again, the team did just draft Kolby Listenbee out of TCU in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Listenbee was a track athlete and receiver during his college career and his skillset is very similar to Archer’s. The one major difference is that Listenbee is four inches taller and built better to be a legitimate downfield threat.
Archer likely will not make the team’s final roster and this move will be relatively inconsequential.