Rookie fifth-round pick has an NFL pedigree Wes Hodkiewicz
GREEN BAY - With injuries piling up in the secondary, the Packers claimed rookie cornerback Kyu Blu Kelly off waivers from Seattle this past weekend.
Kelly, 22, was drafted in the fifth round (No. 157 overall) by the Baltimore Ravens in April. The 6-foot, 191-pound cornerback was claimed off waivers by Seattle after training camp and played 38 special-teams snaps over five games with the Seahawks.
Here are five things to know about the Packers' new cornerback:
Kelly's father played 11 seasons in the NFL.
Kelly's father, Brian, was a second-round pick by Tampa Bay in 1998 and played his first 10 seasons there. A member of the Buccaneers' Super Bowl XXXVII team, the elder Kelly tied Pro Football Hall of Fame safety Rod Woodson with a league-best eight interceptions that same season.
Current Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry and special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia both coached on that Tampa squad.
The young Kelly said he doesn't know Bisaccia personally but "he always got a Christmas card with me on it."
"He's definitely a friend of my dad's and someone who's really close to the family," Kelly said. "Now I'm getting to know him on a coaching level, which is pretty cool."
Dad's advice has helped during a turbulent rookie season.
It has certainly been a unique start to Kelly's career. The rookie cornerback recorded six tackles and a pass breakup during the preseason before being among the Ravens' final cuts.
Kelly said he flew home to Las Vegas after being released by the Seahawks on Saturday, where his father gave the aspiring NFL cornerback good advice.
"He said, 'It's your rookie year, man," Kelly said. "'You had a rough year going all over the place but it's your first - a year from now might not even be like this. Just stay the course, do what you can and just make sure you make it worthwhile.'"
Packers defensive quality control coach Justin Hood coached Kelly at the Senior Bowl.
Kelly was a four-year starter at Stanford, where he made 148 tackles, 26 passes defensed, and three interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) in 38 games (35 starts).
Kelly recorded a 4.52 time in the 40 at the NFL Scouting Combine with a 36-inch vertical and 10-11 broad jump. However, it was his invite to the Senior Bowl that introduced Kelly to Hood, who has assisted the Packers' defensive backs the past two years.
"That was someone I had connected with, and we had a bunch of draft meetings," Kelly said. "He said, 'Keep my number. You never know,' and here I am. Things like that happen, for sure."
He's the Chief Creative Officer for a video game.
An avid gamer, Kelly has a contract with Microsoft for a video game that's currently in development. Kelly couldn't go into the specifics of the project but said it's based on a movie script he and a family friend assembled.
A communications major at Stanford, Kelly is interested in going into video-game design after football.
"It's just something I stumbled in," Kelly said. "He thought this movie idea would be a great video game and they kind of streamlined me. I wrote a few scripts and they really liked it. I'm sticking with that, that's my outside-of-football hobby pretty much."
Kelly's name was a compromise.
"My dad wanted Blu," Kelly said. "We're all in the delivery room. I'm crying, and my mom's not feeling it and wants something with a K. They compromised Kyu Blu."
Because of that, Kelly doesn't have a middle name.
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