As we’ve done in previous offseasons, we’re taking a look at those Pittsburgh Steelers under futures contracts for the 2019 offseason. We’ll focus this on the players who weren’t on the team’s practice squad last year, the mostly unknown players that fans don’t know much about.
#38 Kameron Kelly/DB San Diego State – 6’2 204
Picture Sean Davis. Now picture a less athletic version of Sean Davis. That’s Kameron Kelly, more or less.
One of several AAF refugees signed by the team after the league crumbled, Kelly has ridden the football roller coaster, both in team and position. At San Diego State, he – like Davis – spent the first three seasons playing safety for the Aztecs. Starting as a true sophomore in 2015, he picked off a pair of passes and followed that up with four of them as a junior.
Due to graduation of players like Damontae Kazee, Kelly was asked to move to cornerback. Not an ideal landing spot for him but he still produced like the team was used to, intercepting three balls and forcing two fumbles as a senior. Seemingly always in position to make the clutch play, like this interception against Stanford to seal the upset win.
Kelly was a Senior Bowl invite and I remember having a brief chat with him during media day. A bright, hard-working guy who always circled back to doing whatever the team needed him to do.
His Combine testing didn’t do him any favors a month later. No one expected a guy of his frame to blaze a low 4.4, but his 4.66 40, 33 inch broad, and nine reps on the bench press made him an athletic outlier for the NFL. He went undrafted, inking a deal with the Dallas Cowboys and carried through the summer of 2018.
The AAF scooped him up in late October. A homecoming of sorts playing for the San Diego Fleet (though Kelly was born in Texas). Initially, the team planned for him to play receiver, hearkening back to his high school days, but injuries moved him back to the defensive side of the football to play corner. He put up some stellar performances including this three interception day against Salt Lake in March.
It didn’t take long for Pittsburgh to sign him after the AAF went under. Pittsburgh announced Kelly as a cornerback though on the team roster, he’s given a vaguer “DB” designation. Safety would still seem to be his best bit given some hip tightness and lack of long speed. Numbers wise, safety may be his best chance to make it, too. Then again, this is an organization collecting every big corner they can find.
Either way, he’s going to have to stand out with some splash plays in the preseason, both defensively and on special teams. Grinding it out on the coverage and return teams aren’t anything new to him. That’s how he earned his keep as a true freshman for SDSU, blocking a punt in a win over UNLV.
The dude knows how to find the football. For a secondary starving to capitalize and make big plays, there’s a puncher’s chance Kelly makes noise in camp.