Steelers Add Draft's Fastest Man

Dri Archer is so fast, he doesn't feel the need to exaggerate.

Kids always lie about their 40 times.

Not Dri Archer.

The fastest man in the draft, the man whom the Steelers drafted with the third-round compensatory pick awarded them for losing Mike Wallace, went the other way.

Minutes after new running backs coach James Saxon said the Steelers had timed Archer at "sub 4.2" at the combine -- and Saxon repeated the answer to a disbelieving reporter -- Archer came on the conference call and said he ran a 4.26 40 at the combine and that his best 40 time was 4.21.

But, hey, we can agree that the kid's fast. And the Steelers added to the fastest linebacker in this draft with the flat-out fastest player in Archer on pick 97 last night.

"We are very, very excited," said Saxon. "This organization just got another potentially great football player. He is going to be able to be a dynamic football player with the ball in his hands."

A 5-7 3/4, 173-pounder, with a 38-inch vertical jump, Archer started 21 of 47 games at Kent State. He caught 99 passes for 1,194 yards (12.1 per catch) and 12 touchdowns, and rushed for 2,342 yards with 24 touchdowns at a 7.2 per-carry clip.

Archer will make his presence felt initially with the Steelers as a kickoff return man. He averagd 28.2 yards per kickoff return to rank fourth all-time in the MAC. Scout-turned-analyst Daniel Jeremiah tweeted after the pick that "Archer's kickoff return highlight tape is pure gold!" Archer returned four kickoffs for touchdowns at Kent.

One potential drawback is Archer's durability. After rushing for 1,429 yards (9.0 avg.) in 2012, Archer struggled last season with an ankle injury and rushed for only 527 yards.

Another drawback will be blocking, particularly if he's called upon for third-and-long situations. But Saxon isn't worried.

"To the kid's credit, he's as tough as any of the kids I've been around," Saxon said. "We are going to try and put him in a position where he's going to succeed. Whatever way we can find to get this kid the ball or to have him involved in our offense, we are doing to do that as a staff."

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