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Steelers Transactions

Steelers Sign Elusive UDFA Wide Receiver



Steelers WR Aaron Cruickshank
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights Football team take on the Fighting Illini at SHI Stadium in Piscataway, NJ on Saturday November 14, 2020.

The Steelers are signing former Rutgers and Wisconsin wide receiver Aron Cruickshank, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 in Houston. Cruickshank tried out for the Carolina Panthers last week.

In his entire college career, Cruickshank posted over 3000 kick return yards in his five year career across both colleges. An undrafted free agent in 2022, Cruickshank’s two best seasons were in 2019 and 2020, where he racked up over 600 yards in both years. After 2019, he entered the transfer portal, heading to Rutgers, where he posted 671 yards and 2 touchdowns in just nine games as a returner. Across those years, Cruickshank had 4 kick return touchdowns.

As far as being a receiver, that is not something that Cruickshank ever excelled at with either team. His career-best season as a receiver came in 2022, where he grabbed 42 receptions for 385 yards and 2 touchdowns. But he added 11 rushes for 115 yards and a touchdown. That elusiveness is important for Cruickshank to make a name for himself as both a kick returner and offensive weapon.

The signing comes days after Hakeem Butler missed the team’s game against the Bills for an undisclosed reason. Though, Cruickshank is a different type of receiver with his returner specialities and gadget receiver tendencies. He ran a 4.63 40-yard dash at Rutgers pro day and ended up going undrafted. However, Cruickshank has attracted steady interest from teams hosting him for workouts.

He should enter the return man competition on top of helping add another wide receiver to the roster. Anthony McFarland got his chance to do that on Saturday but only took one return for 19 yards on the day. Other candidates in that room could be Gunner Olszewski and Jordan Byrd. Cruickshank’s elusiveness and experience there across two teams should give him a quick start in the special teams facet. He should be expected to play there against the Falcons on Thursday.