A lot has been made of Cameron Kinley’s quest to delay his US Navy service to pursue his NFL dreams with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the situation has been well-known. Now it’s settled, let’s talk on-field as it pertains to Kinley.
Not to toot our own horns here, but we here at the Pewter Plank have been captaining the Cameron Kinley of Navy ship for quite some time here, so “toot toot”. Now let’s keep this ship cruising.
When it comes to the ballyhoo surrounding Kinley, the long and short of it is the US Navy denied Kinley’s request to delay his required service upon graduation so he can continue to pursue his NFL dreams with the Buccaneers. It became a national story, even leading to Kinley appealing to the highest office in the land, asking President Joe Biden for help. Fast forward to now, and the Secretary of Defense chose to allow Kinely to attend training camp with the Bucs and keep his NFL dreams alive.
Everyone was so caught up in that situation, they forgot that Kinley is a very good football player, and it’s time to talk about that aspect of Kinley’s journey. You know, the important stuff, such as on-the-field production.
It was looking like the Buccaneers found a diamond in the rough in Kinley throughout rookie minicamp, the undrafted defensive back out of Navy. Kinley and fourth-round pick Jaelon Darden, a receiver out of North Texas were two rookies that were turning heads. Now that it’s confirmed that Kinley will be attending training camp, it’s time for Bucs fans to get excited.
Kinley was not only the team captain at Navy, but he was also the class president. Kinley’s natural, and groomed, leadership skills already make him an impressive young man before even stepping foot on the field. Now that he has, let’s look at what he’s done last time he was on the field at Navy.
In his four-year college career at Navy, Kinley intercepted one pass and broke up six. He also added on 88 tackles (3.5 for a loss) and a sack. Those aren’t exactly eye-popping stats, but with cornerbacks sometimes quiet stats speak the loudest. They usually have to do with not being targeted as much, as was the case with Kinley.
Kinley can be a nice fit in this defense as he is a big, physical corner at 6-feet-2 inches and 204 pounds, which is great size for an NFL corner. The cornerback position may be an interesting and crowded, group for the Buccaneers that even added some new younger pieces, but that doesn’t mean they can’t find a piece for Kinley, at the very least on special teams.
The cornerback room for the Bucs consists of a solid, deep group, but doesn’t possess what one would call a real “star”. This isn’t saying Kinley is going to be a star, but the Buccaneers may have found themselves a diamond in the undrafted free agency rough.
This was meant to focus more on the on-field aspect of Kinley, but undrafted free agents have a chip on their shoulders, to begin with. Now that Kinley’s been through what he’s been through, mixed with his leadership skills and talent, Cameron Kinley should become a nice piece for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.