By this time on Sunday, the NFL Draft will be over, and 256 young men will have their dreams of being drafted come true. Dri Archer will be one of those 256, but where he will fall along that spectrum is one of the more interesting cases heading into the draft. His blazing speed surely will have teams drooling, but his diminutive stature could give teams a reason to pause. He has had his share of pre-draft visits, however:
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The Steelers Drafted Archer In Round 3
Archer is one of the most dynamic playmakers the Mid-American Conference (home to such multidimensional stars as Jordan Lynch, Julian Edelman and Josh Cribbs) has ever seen, and maybe the fastest guy in the NFL.
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He's also visited the Lions and Raiders, for what it's worth, but draft visits aren't a perfect indication of where a guy will go. Based on what we know (and what I think I know), here are some teams that would be good fits for Archer at the next level:
Chicago Bears: No, the Bears aren't one of the teams listed above, but they really make a ton of sense as an Archer destination. Matt Forte is really the only serviceable running back on the roster now that the team cut ties with Michael Bush, and they also said goodbye to longtime return man Devin Hester. Archer would be a solid change-of-pace back behind Forte, and he could really add a new dimension to an already strong offense. Part of the Bears' calling card these last few years has been defensive and special teams touchdowns. Adding Archer would help offset the loss of Hester and keep the special teams unit dangerous.
New England Patriots: A team that Archer actually did visit, I could definitely see him ending up in New England. The Pats aren't afraid to draft value when they see it; look at the 2011 draft when they grabbed a sliding Ryan Mallett and two running backs with consecutive picks. Those two backs, Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen, have had their own respective issues (ball control for Ridley, health for Vereen), so adding Archer would give Tom Brady another option on offense that I'm sure he'd appreciate.
Indianapolis Colts: Another team on Archer's visit list, and another team that could really use his presence on their roster. The Colts currently have a backfield that consists of, among others: Trent Richardson, Vick Ballard, and Ahmad Bradshaw. My expert analysis is that's not very good. I know that the running back position is changing and the need for a workhorse guy that carries the ball nearly 400 times a year is quickly diminishing, but none of those guys are any sort of threat. Archer's speed alone is enough to distract defenses and open things up for Andrew Luck, which is something Indy would have to seriously consider.
New Orleans Saints: In a similar boat as the Colts, the Saints have a backfield of Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram, and not a lot else. Archer would look great taking handoffs from Drew Brees and returning kicks on the turf at the Superdome.
Seattle Seahawks: I haven't seen Archer linked to Seattle anywhere, I just think this would be a heck of a lot of fun to watch. Archer and Trayion Durham made a great "thunder and lightning" combo at Kent State, can you imagine how he'd pair with Marshawn Lynch? Those two, plus Russell Wilson's ability to extend the play outside the pocket, PLUS a full year of Percy Harvin would really push Seattle's offense to another level.