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Alabama in the Pros

Rookie wide receiver Gehrig Dieter catching everything at Chiefs training camp

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Gehrig Dieter (No. 4) makes reception despite coverage in training camp: Photo via Chiefs' website

He did not receive a lot of opportunities at the University of Alabama as a pass catcher, but wide receiver Gehrig Dieter made himself known during Monday’s camp session with the Kansas City Chiefs.  

According to both ESPN and the team’s website beat writers, the former Crimson Tide standout was consistent in grabbing passes from both Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes II. Per the Chiefs’ staff writers in particular, BJ Kissel (senior writer) reported that Dieter made a handful of nice catches throughout the day – including a diving reception along the sideline that earned top play. 

Kansas City wide receiver Gehrig Dieter attempting to grab a TD pass in camp: Photo via Chiefs’ website

Hailing from South Bend, Ind., his career started at Southern Methodist University in 2012 (10 catches, 168 yards, one score) prior to him leaving for Bowling Green. After sitting out the 2013 season, the 6-foot-3 target would emerge as the favorite “go to” wide out for quarterback Matty Johnson. Dieter hauled in 129 receptions for 1,493 yards and 11 touchdowns through 23 games, including a 1,000-yard campaign in 2015 after 14 games. 

The opportunity to play for a national championship and a rotator cuff injury to Robert Foster landed Dieter in Tuscaloosa, before the start of the 2016 season. While he was a major part in helping the Falcons accomplish a Mid-American Conference championship in 2015, Dieter settled into being a solid role player for the Tide. In learning a freshman quarterback – Jalen Hurts – he did not garner much attention; however, Dieter made his time count. 

Chiefs rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes II finds Gehrig Dieter with a pass down the sideline: Photo via Chiefs’ website

He totaled 15 catches for 214 receiving yards and four scores.  

His ability and technique as a downfield blocker was an underrated quality. Dieter set the edge for four 500-plus yard rushers, including sophomore running back Damien Harris (1,037). He secured two critical blocks on both of Bo Scarbrough’s touchdown runs versus Washington in the College Football Playoff semifinal game, aiding the 235-pounder to 180 yards on 19 carries. 

Despite not being selected through seven rounds of this year’s NFL Draft, Dieter is one of few players that’s won a conference championship on two different programs. Head coach Andy Reid and Kansas City signed him shortly after the draft, and thus far he’s been a pleasant sight for the franchise.

Stephen M. Smith is a managing editor and senior writer foTouchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

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