From zero to hero: Steelers best camp bodies of the 2010s

Antwon Blake Pittsburg Steelers (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Antwon Blake Pittsburg Steelers (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Mike Hilton Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

Mike Hilton

No player on this list represents the rags to riches story better than Mike Hilton. A UDFA in 2016, Hilton spent time on two different rosters before landing on the Steelers practice squad, a place he would remain for the rest of the year. Heading into that training camp, word began to spread about the aggression and physicality that Hilton was displaying. This continued through the preseason, as Hilton was constantly one of the best CBs on the field.

This impressive camp led to a roster spot for him. While that alone is impressive, Hilton didn’t just earn a depth spot on the roster, he was named the starting nickel CB right out of the gate. To go from camp longshot to starter for an NFL defense is impressive and a feat not accomplished often, but credit where credit is due, Hilton deserved it. He is entering his fourth year as the Steelers starting nickel CB, and he has developed into one of the best players at that position.

While many are projecting this to be his final season with the Steelers, it should in no way harm his legacy with the team. Hilton exemplifies the word long shot, and he has proven that any camp player has the shot to start if they earn it. He has earned the respect he is given, and he has earned the payday he should see next year no matter what team is giving it to him.

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While proverbial camp bodies rarely go much farther than training camp, the Steelers have found quite a few gems over the past few years. This should remind fans that all of the players in training camp have a shot, no matter how small, to become key contributors. While it is easy to write a lot of these players off, they are out here to prove all of us wrong.