Kameron Kelly at no point since he declared for the NFL Draft last year has drawn much buzz at this level. Nevertheless, he recently found himself taking reps in practice—albeit in OTAs—with a first-team defensive unit since signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers soon after the Alliance of American Football collapsed a couple months ago.
Kelly played safety, cornerback, and even wide receiver in the AAF. The Steelers list him—and only him—as a ‘defensive back’ on their roster on their website, but the initial impression was that he would work at cornerback, where he spent most of his time with the San Diego Fleet, including a three-interception game that helped put him on the map.
And on the radar of NFL teams. Though he signed with the Steeler, he told the team’s website that he “had a couple of teams call”, so Pittsburgh was not the only team that was interested in signing the 2018 college free agent.
“The Steelers called and I felt like it was the best place for me”, he said. “They stay on you here, they ask you to work hard, but the atmosphere and the culture is good. It’s everything they said it would be”.
And that of course is always good to hear. You want to hear new voices come into your building and say that you were exactly as advertised. Sure, it should be taken with a grain of salt since anybody in his position is not exactly going to level harsh criticisms about the team he’s trying to land a job with, but nevertheless, that doesn’t entirely invalidate his comment.
Kelly is obviously looking for more than a job in the summer. He’s looking for a spot on the 53-man roster, and to do so he’s probably going to have to be versatile and show the ability to play both cornerback and safety. Safety is where the established depth, however, is thinnest. Of course, his ability to play the latter is what got him his biggest opportunity so far.
“That was my goal, to work with the first team”, he said. “That is everybody’s goal, no matter where you come from or what you were doing before. You always want to work your way up to get as much playing time as possible. I just thank God for the opportunity”.
He added, “it made me want to lock in more and make sure I came out here and made the most out of my opportunity”.
Another thing that will play into his favor is the fact that the team’s two primary backup safeties, Jordan Dangerfield and Marcus Allen, profile more as strong safeties. He will also have to contend with Dravon Ashew-Henry and P.J. Locke, a pair of rookie college free agents.