February 21, 2014 at 5:08 pm

Kent State RB says he'll set 40-yard dash mark at NFL combine Sunday

At just 5-foot-8 and 173 pounds, running back Dri Archer is among the fastest players in this year's draft. (Michael Chang / Getty Images)

Indianapolis — Dri Archer called his shot.

The Kent State running back said Friday he will beat Chris Johnson’s time of 4.24 seconds in the 40-yard dash when he runs Sunday at the NFL combine.

“I’m going to break the record,” Archer said, adding he ran a 4.21 in college, though it was hand-timed.

When Archer runs on the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium, he’ll be clocked electronically, which often results in a slower time than the initial hand-timed marks at the combine.

At just 5-foot-8 and 173 pounds, Archer is among the fastest players in this year’s draft. He was limited this season due to an ankle injury, but as junior, Archer had 1,429 rushing yards, 561 receiving yards and 23 total touchdowns, including three via kickoff return.

Archer said he already had an interview with the Lions. Although the Lions appear set with running backs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell, Archer said the Lions were looking at him as a returner, third-down back and receiver.

“Speed is something you can’t really coach,” Archer said. You can’t really just go out and buy speed anywhere, so guys like me and (Oregon’s De’Anthony Thomas), smaller guys, are going to cause a lot of problems in the league.”

Johnson set the record in 2008, and his speed helped him become a first-round pick. Archer projects as a mid-round pick, but if he breaks the record, that could certainly change.

jkatzenstein@detroitnews.com
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