The gut reaction of Steelers fans is to notice Dri Archer's height. Or lack of it.
Steelers head coach is fully aware of that. That's not the best way to describe him, though.
"He is short, not small," Tomlin said in the press conference announcing the team's third round pick.
To illustrate Tomlin's comment, look at the current NFL players that experts compare Archer along side. Tavon Austin of the St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs' Dexter McCluster. Archer is expected to fill a similar role for the Steelers that these players do for their respective NFL football teams, but how does Archer compare in terms of size and skill set.
Austin stands 5-foot-8, 174 pounds, McCluster 5-foot-9 172 pounds and Archer stands 5-foot-9, 173 pounds. All three of these players are nearly the exact same size, but their differences are there as well.
The most common denominator between these three players is their speed. Looking at each individuals NFL Combine results, you'll see McCluster who ran a 4.58, Austin ran a 4.34 and Archer ran a combine best 4.26. Strength is another test that shows a separation between these players. Archer and McCluster both benched 225 pounds 20 times, while Austin was able to push out 14 repetitions. Lastly, their vertical jump results showed Archer jumping the highest at 38 inches. McCluster jumped 37.5 inches, and Austin jumped 32 inches.
There are differences, but all three players wreak of explosiveness. The fact that Archer was able to get 20 repetitions on the bench press shows his strength, while still running the fastest time at the 2014 combine shows that he isn't built simply for speed, but can withstand the contact that will come with his position.
Tomlin hit the nail on the head when he said that Archer was "short, but not small". When an NFL player is 5'8" and 173lbs there needs to be a sense of imagination and creativity that comes with putting that player in a position to succeed. That job will come down to offensive coordinator, Todd Haley, but don't think that Archer doesn't have the intangibles to get the job done.
Every time he touches the ball he is a threat to go the distance, and when he breaks off big chunks of yardage I doubt fans will complain about his size.