One of the first things that head coach Justin Wilcox and offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin promised when they were hired was that they would once again utilize the tight end position. While the Bears only had a few players that were originally on roster that could play the position, the coaching staff has gone hard in recruiting tight ends in order to truly bring the position back to Berkeley.
In their 2018 class, the Bears grabbed McCallan Castles, a highly touted 3-star receiving tight end. They weren’t done going after the position however, as they added two more tight ends in their 2019 class, the higher ranked of the two being Bradley Archer. Archer continues a much welcomed trend among Wilcox recruits by being a local talent, as he attends Livermore High School in Livermore, CA (just 45 minutes away from Berkeley).
Per 247 Sports:
Archer has a very good body and athleticism, running a 4.30 shuttle at The Opening NorCal, which is very fast for a player his size.
With a combination of a college ready frame of 6’4” and 240 pounds and the aforementioned athleticism, he fits just what the Bears are looking for at the tight end position.
In his Hudl tape, Archer shows solid hands and route running ability combined with straight-line speed that allows him to blow by high school linebackers and even some defensive backs. When watching high school tape you are always looking for aspects that can carry over into the next level. While he is not a receiving tight end (more on that in a second), I think his speed could possibly be an asset even at the college level and that his receiving ability overall could be at least serviceable, but definitely not anything too great.
What really gets you excited about Archer (and what separates him from the receiving McCallan Castles) is his blocking ability. While his Hudl tape mostly shows clips of him absolutely demolishing opposing players by being purely bigger and stronger than them, he also shows good awareness in blocking the correct defender when lead blocking. However, if you want to get a real look at his blocking ability, then this is the video to watch.
The first part of the video (the only part we are focusing on) shows Archer in one-on-one drills. Granted, there are ups and downs to the video. However, if we look closer, we get to see why we should be excited about Archer’s blocking ability. In the video, we see four one-on-ones. In the first one, he loses because he got flat-footed. However, what is promising is how in the other three clips, he shows great footwork and does a great job staying in front of his man. While the rusher does make him look bad in the third attempt, we have to remember that Archer is going to be used as a run blocker and the defender used a pass-rushing spin move on him, not to mention that the move was executed nearly perfectly.
All in all, Bradley Archer definitely looks the part of a Division 1 college football player. He likely won’t be a star as he probably won’t have the greatest impact in the receiving game, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him become a #2 tight end who excels as a blocker. At the very least, he should be a good special teams player as well as a sub tight end in goal-line and other blocking situations. He also could possibly be converted into a Malik McMorris type of fullback (who is obviously utilized a bit more as a receiver) if he can improve on his pass protection.
What do you guys think about Archer? What type of player do you think he will be in the future for the Bears?