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2014 NFL Combine: Kent State's Dri Archer falls just short of record time in 40-yard dash

By Nate Ulrich Published: February 23, 2014

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Kent State running back and wide receiver Dri Archer fell just .03 seconds short of fulfilling his prophecy today at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Last week, Archer predicted he would break the combine record of 4.24 seconds in the 40-yard dash set by Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson in 2008. Archer didn’t set a new record with his official time of 4.26 seconds, but he made Johnson sweat.

“Can't lie,” Johnson wrote today on Twitter. “Archer had the [boy] nervous.”

Archer said he posted a personal-best time of 4.21 seconds in the spring of 2012 indoors and on turf at Kent State. That gave him faith that he could make jaws drop during the combine at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“I feel confident in myself,” Archer said Friday. “It’s been a goal of mine for a while.”

Although Archer didn’t reach his goal, he still established this year's best combine time in the 40 through Sunday. Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks’ 4.33 ranks second. Defensive backs will run Tuesday, the final day of the combine.

The 5-foot-8, 173-pound Archer could play either running back or receiver in the NFL, though he was grouped with the backs for the combine. His 38-inch vertical jump tied for fourth at the position. He also bench pressed 225 pounds 20 times and posted a distance of 122 inches in the broad jump.   

NFLDraftScout.com projects Archer as a seventh-round pick or a priority free agent.

NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks said Archer must prove he can be an exceptional returner and slot receiver to succeed in the league. Archer is convinced he’ll be able to do that.

“You can’t just go out and buy speed anywhere,” Archer said. “Guys like me, smaller guys, are going to cause a lot of problems in the league.”

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