KENT: Kent State held its pro day Thursday morning at the KSU Fieldhouse, offering scouts a second chance to see the main attraction, Dri Archer, and the first chance to see several other draft-eligible Golden Flashes.
Archer did not run the 40-yard dash after running a 4.26 at the NFL Combine and instead only participated in position drills at running back and wide receiver. At one point, a scout asked Archer to do some extra work as a wide receiver out of the slot position. And after everyone else finished their pro day, several scouts asked Archer to go outside to Dix Stadium to field punts in the cold, windy conditions.
“Just the little stuff — route running, catching more punts and more kicks,” Archer said when asked what he still had to prove. “Just the little things.”
Eleven teams sent representatives to Kent on Thursday, including the Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, New Orleans Saints, San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders, Houston Texans, New York Giants, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots. Archer said much of the feedback he received from scouts was positive.
“They were telling me I did pretty good, especially for the conditions we had, with the wind and the [Jugs machine] not working well,” Archer said. “It was just something to adjust to. They said I did pretty good, though.”
Archer said he has private workouts lined up with four teams — Dolphins, Patriots, Arizona Cardinals and Colts.
Former Browns wide receiver and kick returner Josh Cribbs was on hand to lend his support to Archer. Cribbs said that Archer is dangerous as a running back and wide receiver, but it’s his progression as a punt returner that could be his ticket to the NFL.
“I told him look, every team you go to, they’re going to have a back that they pay a lot of money for. It’s the NFL,” Cribbs said. “If you can play special teams, that’s going to give you an opportunity to play offense — third down, screens or slot receiver. But concentrate on special teams. They want to see that speed and that’s how.”
Cribbs, who had his 2013 season cut short due to a pectoral injury, said he’s hopeful to re-sign with the New York Jets and show that, now healthier, he can still produce.
Several others participated in KSU’s pro day, including defensive lineman Andrew Christopher, tight end Tim Erjavec, defensive end Mark Fackler, wide receiver Tyshon Goode, offensive lineman Pat McShane, cornerback Darius Polk, safety Fabrice Pratt, safety Luke Wollet and defensive lineman Roosevelt Nix.
Nix is particularly interesting as a draft prospect, as he’s a nose tackle who also played several different linebacker spots and was a fullback in high school. He’s now being scouted as an inside or outside linebacker and could make a return back to his high school days at fullback.
“I’m a player. I’ll play wherever,” Nix said. “Get on the roster, be successful in life, I’ll play whatever. Whatever that takes, I’m going to do it. ... It’s been stressful. With me, it’s been just like high school again, too short to play certain positions, this that or the third.”
Cribbs said that Nix, along with the other Golden Flashes who didn’t run a 4.26 at the Combine, benefit from Archer’s exposure.
“He [Archer] opens the doors for his teammates,” Cribbs said. “And everybody overlooks that. They might see a guy here that shocks them. It gives other guys a chance to get looks.”
Ryan Lewis can be reached at email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/RyanLewisABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.