Archer amassed nearly 2,600 all-purpose yards and scored 23 touchdowns. He rushed for 1,429 yards (3rd-best all-time in school history), led the team in receiving (39 catches, 561 yards) and the nation with 34.8 yards per KO return (three of which he took back for touchdowns). You watch him break into the open – he did have nine runs of 40+ yards – and you’d think he was exactly what they had in mind when they decided to call the team the Golden Flashes.
So why is this guy back in the MAC?
Well, he’s the same size as Tavon Austin. It’d be helpful to prove that his explosiveness was no one-year power surge, that his game-breaking skills are sustainable.
But you want to know the real reason Archer came back for another year? To learn to return punts.
He may project as a slot receiver in the NFL, so he has some work to do on his route running, yes. But he can really boost his value by proving he can be a game-changer on punt returns (his kickoff return prowess might not be appreciated by a league where the play itself is in jeopardy of extinction). In 2012, Archer returned precisely one punt and lost four yards in doing so.
If he can add this skill set to his career highlight reel, a lot more NFL teams will have fewer reasons not to take him.