Not So Fast With Steelers Rookie WR Reggie Dunn – One Trick Ute
We all love speed, and ever since the 2013 NFL draft concluded, people can\’t stop talking about Utah wide receiver Reggie Dunn, who was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent late Saturday.
Dunn, who reportedly ran a 4.OHCRAP during his March pro day, had more 100-yard kick return touchdowns in his college career (5) than any player in NCAA history. He also set an NCAA single-season mark for the most 100-yard kickoff returns for touchdowns (4) and also set or tied three single-game kick return records in 2012. If you haven\’t yet seen those four touchdown returns, below is a video of them.
So why would someone with the ability like Dunn go undrafted? For starters, Dunn only returns kickoffs, not punts. Second, although he played wide receiver at Utah, he only managed to register 31 catches for 355 yards and one touchdown in 38 games played. In fact, he had more carries, 40 for 330 yards, than he had receptions. It\’s obvious that if he couldn\’t get on the field any more than that at Utah that he will have a tough time winning a spot on an NFL roster, unless he is kept as a kickoff return specialist.
Will the Steelers have room on their roster for a kickoff specialist? They tried that a few years ago when they kept running back Stefan Logan, but that turn out as well as they hoped and he was one and done in Pittsburgh.
In order for Dunn to make the Steelers 53 man roster, he will have to make it very hard for them to cut him by delivering the same kind of eye-popping kickoff return numbers like he posted at Utah. Even that might not be enough, but it will certainly help him land a job somewhere should the Steelers wind up cutting him.
Sure, I am rooting for Dunn to succeed, but unless he becomes a productive wide receiver between now and the end of the preseason, you have to accept what he really is: a one-trick Ute. I\’m not so sure the Steelers will have room for one of those this year.