Scout's Notebook: LB Brandon Archer

The team's most recent practice squad addition, former Kansas State linebacker Brandon Archer, is no stranger to the Twin Cities. Here's a complete scouting report…

#58, Brandon Archer, LB
(6003, 239, 4.73-4.88) Kansas State

Notes:  Born 10/30/83, in Minneapolis, Minn.  Parents are Phillip and Sandra Archer.  His brother, Phil Jr., played linebacker at Minnesota and Western Illinois from 2000-03, was with the San Diego Chargers during the 2005 season and got a brief look also with the Vikings on their practice squad.  He attended Cretin-Derham Hall High School, where he had 85 tackles, 4 interceptions, 2 defensive touchdowns and 5 offensive touchdowns as a senior.  He won a state title as a sophomore, second in state as a junior and reached the quarterfinals as a senior.  He had 120 tackles as a junior, including 22 in one game.  He is single and lives in Minneapolis, Minn.  His hobbies include cars, cooking and drawing.

College:  Redshirted as a freshman in 2002, spending the season performing on the scout team.  In 2003, Archer appeared in 15 games as a reserve outside linebacker; he totaled 15 tackles, including one sack and a forced fumble.  He took over strongside linebacker duties in 2004, leading the team with 75 tackles, with one sack and 6.5 tackles-for-loss, 2 interceptions (both returned for touchdowns), 2 pass breakups and one fumble recovery.  He was named the team's Defensive MVP and earned All-Big 12 second-team honors.  He was named team captain in 2005, going on to lead the team with 72 tackles, including 3 sacks and 9.5 TFL, 1 interception (returned for a TD), 4 PBU, 2 forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.  As a senior (2006), Archer earned All-Big 12 first-team honors.  The team captain shifted to weakside linebacker, again leading the Wildcats with a career-high 106 tackles, adding 2.5 sacks and 7 TFL, 4 PBU and 2 FR.  A four-year letterman, he started 34 of 50 games.  The emotional leader and the team's unquestioned best player, the two-time team captain was a model of consistency for the Wildcats.  He became the third player in school history to lead the team in tackles in three consecutive seasons, joining Brooks Barta (1989-92) and Gary Spani (1975-77).  He was an art major and plans on opening his own graphic arts business following his playing days.

Measured 6003, 236 pounds prior to the NFL Draft.  Recorded a 1.63 10-yard dash, 2.74 20-yard dash, 4.73-4.76 40-yard dash, 4.29 20-yard shuttle, 6.95 three-cone drill, 31 ½-inch vertical jump, 9’2” broad jump and did 18 reps at 225 pounds.

Pro:  Originally signed by the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2007.  Archer played quite a bit in the Colts’ final two preseason games, posting 6 tackles in Week 3 and 5 tackles in the team’s preseason finale.  He was waived by the Colts on the final roster cuts as a rookie.  Signed by the Vikings to their practice squad 9/4/07.

Positives:  Archer is an active, aggressive linebacker with a knack for shooting the gap and making plays.  He has a good nose for the ball and is very instinctive.  He is strong and very well-built for his size.  Makes plays in all phases of the game and seems to have a knack for pass defense.  Good hands.  Understands the framework of the defense and plays within it.  Takes on blocks and uses his hands well to shed.  Hits and usually wraps up nicely.  Good short-area speed and some edge rush ability.  He should excel on special teams.

Negatives:  Lacks great natural size and lacks outstanding sideline-to-sideline range.  Can get engulfed and overpowered at the point of attack at times.  Needs to be in a Cover-2 scheme where he can play off the ball.  More of a zone pass defender than run-and-cover guy.  Will miss some tackles.

Summary:  Could become a Heath Farwell-type backup for the Vikings.  His strengths and weaknesses make him a good fit for the defensive scheme the Vikings run and he comes with that experience having been in camp with the Colts and Tampa-2 inventor Tony Dungy.


“Smart, instinctive, good size and knows the defense.”  NFL scout.

“A fiery competitor, Archer showed a lot of spunk and good instincts…Would be a reliable backup…I like this guy and think he has a good future ahead of him.” Ed Thompson, NFL writer,

An underrated prospect with limited upside, Archer could nicely fit into a one-gap defense as a backup.” – TFY Draft Preview

Other links: | Colts Bio | College Bio

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