Steelers Sign Former University of Kentucky DE, Release CB

Calvin-Taylor

Michael Chang/Getty Images Running back Kylin Hill of the Mississippi State Bulldogs reaches for a touchdown while being tackled by defensive end Calvin Taylor Jr. #91 of the Kentucky Wildcats.

On Thursday the Pittsburgh Steelers had a visit with former University of Kentucky defensive end Calvin Taylor. This morning the Steelers announced that they have signed the almost 6-foot-9 end to their practice squad. To make room for Taylor, the team released former University of Miami cornerback Trajan Bandy.

Like Bandy, Taylor initially signed with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent after the 2020 NFL Draft and spent training camp with the team but was waived when Mike Tomlin & Co. crafted the opening day roster.


Calvin Taylor at the University of Kentucky

Taylor made 22 starts for the Kentucky Wildcats, the same school that produced Steelers OLB Bud Dupree and Steelers RB Benny Snell Jr.

In college, Taylor amassed 85 tackles, including 16.5 tackles for loss, along with 10.5 sacks and five pass deflections. The lion’s share of that production came during his final year at Kentucky. In 2019 he was third-team All-SEC, contributing 36 total tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, four pass deflections and a team-leading 8.5 sacks, plus three forced fumbles.

Pittsburgh currently has two defensive ends on its practice squad, the other being Henry Mondeaux, a first-year player out of Oregon who the Steelers have “protected” each and every week, ensuring that no other team can poach him.


Trajan Bandy’s Career at the University of Miami

As for Bandy, the Miami native came to the Steelers this season as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Miami, where in 39 games he had 90 tackles, nine tackles for loss, three sacks, four interceptions, 26 pass deflections, a forced fumble and three fumble recoveries.

His biggest play as a member of the Hurricanes came during a 41-8 win over Notre Dame on November 12, 2017, when he intercepted a pass and returned it 65 yards for a touchdown.

But his lack of size means the odds are against him in terms of earning a regular role in the NFL. At the NFL Scouting Combine, Bandy was measured at 5-7 6/8 and 180 pounds, making him the shortest cornerback at the Combine.

By way of comparison, Steelers slot corner Mike Hilton is listed at 5-foot-9 and 184 pounds. Hilton also came into the NFL as an undrafted free agent, in large part due to concerns about his size.


Steelers Set to Announce 2020 Hall of Honor Class

As a reminder, on Friday night at 8 p.m. the Steelers will be announcing their 2020 Class for their Hall of Honor, with the ceremonies to be broadcast live via Steelers.com, the team’s mobile app, and all of the team’s social media channels.

The Steelers introduced the Hall of Honor in 2017. To be considered, a player must be retired for at least three years and must have played at least three seasons for the Steelers. Former coaches and front office personnel are also eligible for the honor.

Owner Art Rooney II will be on hand for the announcement and the team has also teased the inclusion of several “special guests.”

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