There are 72 users in the forums

Remember
Not a member? Register Now!

Specialists: Kickoff/Punt returners

I am really hoping the Niners draft a big, physical redzone WR who can stretch the field in the early rounds. However, I'm also hoping that they add a second WR in the mid to later rounds. The ideal target would be a small, shift slot receiver who could replace Ginn as the punt returner, and compete with James to return kick-offs. Does anyone have a player like that is experienced with punt/kick-off returns?
Here's one guy I thought looks interesting

Name: Reggie Dunn
College: Utah Number: 14
Height: 5-10 Weight: 172
Position: WR Pos2: KR
Class/Draft Year: Sr/2013
40 Low: 4.28 40 Time: 4.38 40 High: 4.49
Projected Round: 7-FA

11/30/12 - 2012 ALL-PAC-12 FIRST TEAM: RS Reggie Dunn, Sr., Utah...has been selected First Team All-Pac-12 for the 2012 college football season. Dunn's 51.3 kickoff return average would easily lead the nation had he enough returns to meet the NCAA minimum of 1.2 returns per game. But Dunn made the most of his 10 chances--setting an NCAA single-season record with four 100-yard kickoff returns for touchdowns. He also finishes his Ute career as the NCAA record-holder for career 100-yard returns (5), single-game 100-yard kickoff returns (2) and kick return average in a game (74.0). He tied the NCAA record for kick return touchdowns in a game from any distance (2). - Utah football
Name: Robert Alford
College: Southeast Louisiana
Number: 13Height: 5-10 Weight: 188
Position: CB Pos2: KR Class/Draft Year: r
Sr/201340 Low: 4.30 40 Time: 4.39 40 High: 4.52
Projected Round: 2-3

10/02/12 - OCT 1 SOUTHLAND SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Robert Alford, Southeastern Louisiana...Alford set a Southeastern single-game record with 105 yards in punt returns in the Lions' 31-21 victory at Lamar last Saturday. His 75-yard punt return in the third quarter changed the momentum after Lamar had cut the lead to 17-14. The return was the third-longest in school history. Alford, a senior defensive back from Hammond, La. (Hammond H.S.), had a 59-yard return for an apparent touchdown in the first quarter called back becasue of a penalty. He also recorded three tackles and an interception. Honorable Mention: Jean Breaux, McNeese State; Preston Sanders, Sam Houston State; Phillip Harvey, Northwestern State. - Southland football10/01/12 - WEEK 5 NCAA NATIONAL FCS SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Robert Alford padded the Southeastern Louisiana lead with a 75-yard punt return touchdown to put the Lions up 24-14 with 5:27 in the third quarter. He raced down the left sideline and broke several tackles to put the Lions back up by double digits. Alford also picked off a pass in the victory. - NCAA.com
Good thread Butter. How about Sanders?
  • kush
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 2,745
Originally posted by Ninefan56:
Good thread Butter. How about Sanders?

I know a lot of people soured on Ace when they saw his 40. I am not one of them.

Did you see he's working out with Kap? If he has some game you can be sure our coaches have the inside scoop on it.
I kind of like the idea of Dunn. He looks like he'd be available very late in the 6, 7FA range. That's a pretty low price to pay for a sub 4.38 with punt return experience.

I'm not against taking multiple returns in this draft though. On Super Bowl roster, the more they can do, the better chance they get on the field.
It appears to me that the only rookies who will make the final roster and could be considered return specialists would have to be versatile, i.e., have some benefit in their two roles. I did some research on this in early February using NCAA stats from 2011 and 2012 and came up with the following possibles (please note that I didn't concentrate on kick returns as we still have James and Hunter for kick returns):

Both Kick and Punt returns (2012):
Tavon Austin, WR: very good in both;
Cordarelle Paterson, WR: very good in both but only fielded 4 punts, although one was for a TD.
B.W. Webb, CB: pretty good in both - no idea on TDs as not listed for Div1-AA
Robert Alford, CB (listed above).

Punts returns almost exclusively (2012)
Ace Sanders, WR : Ranked 2 in NCAA punt return yards; had 2 TDs
Giovanni Bernard, RB: Ranked 17; had 2 TDs;
Keenan Allen, WR: Ranked 32, had 1 TD;
Conner Vernon, WR: Ranked 106, only 6 punt returns with max 25 yards.

Looking at 2011, the punts exclusive guy was undoubtedly Tyrann Mathieu, CB: Ranked 3 with 2 TDs. James was also not bad, ranked 49 in punt return yards on only 15 punts with 1 TD.

I should add that Robert Woods, WR was in both the 2012 and 2011 lists but the worst ranked of all the players I recognized (ranked 128 in 2012 and 64 in 2011 in punt returns) with average return yardages of 3.6 and 6.6 and no TDs. Jordan Poyer, CB, was also not bad in 2011 for both kicks and punts, ranked 46 in punt return yardage although his average yardage was not great at 7.1 in 2012 and 4.7 in 2011. He did have one punt TD in 2011 however.

Looking at the group above, almost all are expected in be picked in rounds 1-3, except for Ace Sanders and possibly Mathieu and Vernon. Other than them, I think it is doubtful that we'll have enough roster room to accommodate a mid to late round good punt returner who is also good enough to make it in his other role. Also, please don't forget that we still have Perrish Cox, who I recall was being touted as a very good returner when he was originally drafted.

Hope this helps in your search.




Originally posted by ColdFan:
It appears to me that the only rookies who will make the final roster and could be considered return specialists would have to be versatile, i.e., have some benefit in their two roles. I did some research on this in early February using NCAA stats from 2011 and 2012 and came up with the following possibles (please note that I didn't concentrate on kick returns as we still have James and Hunter for kick returns):

Both Kick and Punt returns (2012):
Tavon Austin, WR: very good in both;
Cordarelle Paterson, WR: very good in both but only fielded 4 punts, although one was for a TD.
B.W. Webb, CB: pretty good in both - no idea on TDs as not listed for Div1-AA
Robert Alford, CB (listed above).

Punts returns almost exclusively (2012)
Ace Sanders, WR : Ranked 2 in NCAA punt return yards; had 2 TDs
Giovanni Bernard, RB: Ranked 17; had 2 TDs;
Keenan Allen, WR: Ranked 32, had 1 TD;
Conner Vernon, WR: Ranked 106, only 6 punt returns with max 25 yards.

Looking at 2011, the punts exclusive guy was undoubtedly Tyrann Mathieu, CB: Ranked 3 with 2 TDs. James was also not bad, ranked 49 in punt return yards on only 15 punts with 1 TD.

I should add that Robert Woods, WR was in both the 2012 and 2011 lists but the worst ranked of all the players I recognized (ranked 128 in 2012 and 64 in 2011 in punt returns) with average return yardages of 3.6 and 6.6 and no TDs. Jordan Poyer, CB, was also not bad in 2011 for both kicks and punts, ranked 46 in punt return yardage although his average yardage was not great at 7.1 in 2012 and 4.7 in 2011. He did have one punt TD in 2011 however.

Looking at the group above, almost all are expected in be picked in rounds 1-3, except for Ace Sanders and possibly Mathieu and Vernon. Other than them, I think it is doubtful that we'll have enough roster room to accommodate a mid to late round good punt returner who is also good enough to make it in his other role. Also, please don't forget that we still have Perrish Cox, who I recall was being touted as a very good returner when he was originally drafted.

Hope this helps in your search.

Wow, that is some pretty good research. Do Dunn or Alford show up? After my initial post, I was thinking that a CB that could return punts would have some significant versatility value as well.
Sorry, in my post I only alluded to Alford, who had been the subject of one of your earlier posts in this thread. In Div1-AA, Webb was ranked 40th nationwide 2012 in punt return yards ; Alford 53rd. However, this was based on 11 (Webb) and 7(Alford) punt returns. Webb also had 11 kick returns and Alford 4. Webb's longest was a 122 yd (must have been a Canadian field) punt return and a 105 yd kick return; Alfrd's were 75 (punt) and 46 (kick). As I said in my earlier post the NCAA site doesn't show TD numbers for the Div1-AA players.
Dunn didn't show up in my stats as I was searching based on punt return yardage. Dunn didn't return any punts for Utah last year, and in fact only returned 10 of the 31 kicks returned by Utah last season. The other 21 kicks were returned by a number of other players.And I think most of his yards/TDs seemed to come from one game against Cal, one of my Alma Maters - grrrrrrr.
One advantage of using defensive players for returns could be that they would be warmed up by having been in for a number of plays; the disadvantage of course is that they could be more tired. However, as seen by the Honey Badger, I assume he would have been in almost all times on defense and would have put up his stellar punt return numbers regardless of that. Also, Tavon Austin returned 33 kicks and 15 punts last year, yet still seemed to gain significant receiving/rushing yds anyway.
Ace Sanders!
Originally posted by kush:
Originally posted by Ninefan56:
Good thread Butter. How about Sanders?

I know a lot of people soured on Ace when they saw his 40. I am not one of them.

Did you see he's working out with Kap? If he has some game you can be sure our coaches have the inside scoop on it.

Me neither. His overall 40 wasn't great, but his 10-yard split was good and he did well at the 3-cone and 60 yard shuttle.
He doesn't have burn you around the corner Ted Ginn speed, but he can accelerate well and change direction like lightning.
I still think he'll be above average, maybe an electric NFL returner.
Originally posted by Butter:
Here's one guy I thought looks interesting

Name: Reggie Dunn
College: Utah Number: 14
Height: 5-10 Weight: 172
Position: WR Pos2: KR
Class/Draft Year: Sr/2013
40 Low: 4.28 40 Time: 4.38 40 High: 4.49
Projected Round: 7-FA

11/30/12 - 2012 ALL-PAC-12 FIRST TEAM: RS Reggie Dunn, Sr., Utah...has been selected First Team All-Pac-12 for the 2012 college football season. Dunn's 51.3 kickoff return average would easily lead the nation had he enough returns to meet the NCAA minimum of 1.2 returns per game. But Dunn made the most of his 10 chances--setting an NCAA single-season record with four 100-yard kickoff returns for touchdowns. He also finishes his Ute career as the NCAA record-holder for career 100-yard returns (5), single-game 100-yard kickoff returns (2) and kick return average in a game (74.0). He tied the NCAA record for kick return touchdowns in a game from any distance (2). - Utah football

http://www.eastcoastsportsnews.com/2013_NFL_Draft.html

Pro Days - Update - Utah WR/KR Reggie Dunn ran 4.22 and 4.26 official forty-times at the Utes Pro Day today

My boy can run!!!
Originally posted by Butter:
Originally posted by Butter:
Here's one guy I thought looks interesting

Name: Reggie Dunn
College: Utah Number: 14
Height: 5-10 Weight: 172
Position: WR Pos2: KR
Class/Draft Year: Sr/2013
40 Low: 4.28 40 Time: 4.38 40 High: 4.49
Projected Round: 7-FA

11/30/12 - 2012 ALL-PAC-12 FIRST TEAM: RS Reggie Dunn, Sr., Utah...has been selected First Team All-Pac-12 for the 2012 college football season. Dunn's 51.3 kickoff return average would easily lead the nation had he enough returns to meet the NCAA minimum of 1.2 returns per game. But Dunn made the most of his 10 chances--setting an NCAA single-season record with four 100-yard kickoff returns for touchdowns. He also finishes his Ute career as the NCAA record-holder for career 100-yard returns (5), single-game 100-yard kickoff returns (2) and kick return average in a game (74.0). He tied the NCAA record for kick return touchdowns in a game from any distance (2). - Utah football

http://www.eastcoastsportsnews.com/2013_NFL_Draft.html

Pro Days - Update - Utah WR/KR Reggie Dunn ran 4.22 and 4.26 official forty-times at the Utes Pro Day today

My boy can run!!!