The Canterbury Bulldogs may be heading into the 2024 season tagged as the team who have signed more utilities than they have positions, but it's now a view shared by two of their recruits.

The Bulldogs recruitment strategy - which has seen utilities Kurt Mann, Blake Taaffe, Jaeman Salmon, Drew Hutchison and Connor Tracey, as well as back-up dummy half Jake Turpin join - has been widely criticised by the media and fans alike.

In a side who need forwards, the number of utilities joining has left head scratching questions.

But Jaeman Salmon, who has joined from the Penrith Panthers with the intent to play in the second-row, told the media per Fox Sports that the group of players have all been brought in with specific roles in mind, and that the versatility of the team will be a strength.

“The media has seen us as utilities, but the club has brought us all in for certain roles,” Salmon said.

“‘Manny' [Kurt Mann] is a lock, Connor Tracey prefers to play centre or fullback but he can fill in in the halves or whatever.

“I think it's good to have a team of versatile players. It means that we're all footballers and we can do whatever job is asked of us. The club struggled with depth last year, and the thing is you can never have too many footballers in the team.”

Salmon himself, who started his career in the halves but has since spent his time at the Penrith Panthers - where he has played a significant role in three straight premierships becoming a reality - said he wants to play in the back-row.

It's an unlikely event though given Viliame Kikau and Jacob Preston block his path, with Salmon also open to his versatility winning him a spot in the 17.

“Back row is obviously the goal for me. I know we've got some great back-rowers in Kiks and Presto, so I'll be doing everything I can to get a spot in the 17,” Salmon said.

“I like to think of myself as versatile, so if anything happened, I can fill in in the halves or the centres.”

Meanwhile, fullback and half Blake Taaffe confirmed he has his mind set on wearing the number one jumper at the club.

It's another battle that will likely go against the recruit, with Canterbury paying big money to sign Stephen Crichton from the Panthers.

“Obviously that's the position where I'm most known to play,” Taaffe said.

“I just want to come here and train my heart out and earn the respect off the boys. Whatever position I'm put in, I'll put everything I've got into that role.

“The competition is good because it keeps you pushing. No competition is bad because it stops you from being complacent in certain areas.

“I feel like I'm getting better each day here and I'm getting a lot of good feedback off the coaches and players.”

The Bulldogs kick-off their 2024 season on March 9 against the Parramatta Eels.