Did the Steelers find their next Aaron Smith (a.k.a. the player Ziggy Hood should've been) in Notre Dame's Stephon Tuitt? Did they find the player Chris Rainey should've been in Kent's Dri Archer?
We'll find out eventually. In the meantime, we know this much: Tuitt has one nasty looking facemask and Archer is real, real fast. Here's some more info and video on the both of them.
*** NFL.com draft profile
*** National Football Post profile
*** Notre Dame bio
*** Anything you may have wanted to know about his foot injury
*** He was ejected from the Irish game at Pitt this year for targeting Panthers QB Tom Savage:
*** Another Steelers pick that apparently New England was keen on
*** 5 things you need to know about him
*** 4 reasons to like him
*** He cooks and copied the facemask from Justin Tuck
*** SB Nation draft profile, with Bill Hader reference:
BGI -- combine interview:
Watch ND highlights:
NFL Draft Profile:
*** NFL.com draft profile
*** Kent State bio
*** SI's Chris Burke says despite being the fastest guy at the combine, he's overrated
*** Mel Kiper says he thought Archer could go in round 3 & he's really strong for his size: 20 bench reps of 225 while weighing 173-pounds.
*** Per his wikipedia page, he beat Denard Robinson in a Fla. state high school 100-meter championship
*** Terrific Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article about 40 speed vs. football speed featuring Archer (I've put the Archer excerpt below, but worth reading the whole thing)
During a mini break at EXOS, Winkelman asks a question out loud to players.
"That little running back from
Make that 4.26. Dri Archer is this draft's urban legend. A filthy-fast athlete without a traditional position. In the NFL, Archer can't hold up as a full-time running back, nor is he a polished receiver. In space, let loose, he might be untouchable. It's on coaches to scheme speed, too.
"That speed's genetic, man," Rock said.
Said Winkelman, "A guy that fast, if he can translate that speed side to side, then it's just a question of 'does he have the decision-making capacities to do it?'"
In the Mid-American Conference, Archer did.
Rock put the ball in Archer's hands through sweeps off motion, isolated 1-on-1's, jet sweeps, pitches. Archer wasn't a mere Corvette. Archer's change of direction separated him. His body control. He was slippery. He redefined "running back" at
"The more he touched it," Rock said, "the better off we were going to be."
Decisions may drive game speed. But the NFL is also a game of personnel mismatches. Coaches need to get their fast players on your slow players. Because of that 4.26, Archer will get a chance.
The pro game does get faster. Some ambiguously defined "offensive weapons" have struggled (Denard Robinson), some hybrids (Darren Sproles being the blueprint) have excelled. Archer and
Rock isn't sure if the 173-pounder can withstand the NFL pounding, only saying he "wouldn't want to play against him." During
"He can do some things that not everybody can do," Rock said. "When you have that ability to do some things, it's not so much making guys look silly. It's more everybody just looks at each other and says, 'How did he do that?'"
*** Finally, the NFL Draft Geek highlight reel: