Stats Make Case Calijah Kancey Was Most Athletic Defender In The Draft

April 28th, 2023

Bucs DT Calijah Kancey.

A week didn’t go by without Joe hearing or reading someone say the Bucs need more speed on the roster.

Joe was sort of hoping one solution to that issue would have been Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs. But he went way higher than anyone guessed, No. 12 overall to the Lions.

So when the Bucs drafted explosive defensive tackle Calijah Kancey at No. 19 from Pitt, Joe knew the guy was fast. But dang, Joe didn’t know what a jock this Kancey is.

Per NextGen Stats, the NFL-owned outfit that collects data from equipment embedded in players’ uniforms, no defender in this draft is an athletic specimen like Kancey.

So yeah, the Bucs not only got quicker on defense, they got a guy that appears to be able to play all over the front line. In fact, per Jenna Laine of ESPN, about 40 percent of Kancey’s snaps playing at Pitt had him lined up outside.

39 Responses to “Stats Make Case Calijah Kancey Was Most Athletic Defender In The Draft”

  1. Jack Clark Says:

    Hoping his pro career might matches that of another undersized first-round Pitt defensive tackle, Aaron Donald.

  2. PSL Bob Says:

    I’m surprised we didn’t go o-line, but I think this is a good pickup. Given Atlanta’s newly potent running game we need speed and power up front.

  3. Lord Cornelius Says:

    What a freak lol. I love this pick. I love that I was surprised by it and still loved it because usually when we throw a curveball i hate the pick.

    It’s not like the guy didn’t have production either or is some projection of athleticism. He had back to back seasons with 7 sacks and high pressure grades from PFF if that means anything lol.

    Sounds like he has a comp somewhere between Ed Oliver and Aaron Donlald. Probably will be more of a pass rush specialist early then a full time guy relied on to make plays in the run game.

  4. Allbuccedup Says:

    Hes ok but I would have picked Harrison.

  5. Mike Says:

    His lateral quickness is elite. If he gets 1 on 1 with guards, he’s going to make plays.

  6. Winky Says:

    Dude is gonna be a burner. Love the pick.

    Go Bucs!!

  7. Infomeplease Says:

    So far so good. Next OT? Nickel corner? TE? RB?

  8. ATLBuc Says:

    I studied his tape and this guy has great rushing technique. Great hands. I watched him drive a lineman into a pulling guard and push them both into the lap of the QB. He was double teamed a lot and beat many of them and has elite quickness off the ball. Nice pick.

  9. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    He literally is an Animal!

  10. SteveK Says:

    Couple him next to Vita and look out. It’s game time!

  11. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Put him next to vea n Gaines n I believe these guys will wreck havoc. A lot of us said beef up the trenches n that’s exactly what happened here. Jason didn’t reach for a O-lineman out of need instead took the best player available of a position that is sorely needed. We need guys that can get after the QB n help stop the run. Boom check the list. Keep getting it Jason

  12. Easy The Great Says:

    Pairing him with Vea on the line will be solid.

  13. Tim Says:

    Now get Cody Mauch OT from North Dakota St. He’s like a OT version of Ryan Jensen.

  14. Dooley Says:

    4.67 for a 281lbs human being is alarming, there are TEs & ILBers that don’t even run a 40 that fast. Imagine being a 6’6 guard that doesn’t have the bend or reactionary athleticism to keep up w/Kancey off of a given snap, lol good luck with that.

  15. Steven007 Says:

    Lord, I know what you’re saying. I was very well aware of this guy but the pic also surprised me. In a good way. I thought we’d be sucked in to taking a player with more name recognition. Glad we didn’t and hope it works out. This is also a good pic throughout the rotation because as someone mentioned above Gaines is also a big guy though I’m guessing they might throw Kancey on the outside when Vita rotates out sometimes.

  16. Steven007 Says:

    Dooley, correct. Leverage, as well as his speed will be his greatest weapon. Donald has it, Sapp had it, Randle from back in the day, and even great pass rushers like Robert Mathis and Elvis dumerville who was actually two inches shorter.

  17. Doc Says:

    Offense takles in the N.F.L. 6-6 320 LBS speed guys, most of the time run out of the play. the Buc’s will regret not drafting a quarterback or a left tackle.

  18. Atlbuc28 Says:

    Warren Sapp 4.69 and we know how that worked out!

  19. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I like the pick.

    There are always fans who wanted someone the Bucs did not pick, and most of those people will choose to hate the pick.

    As far as his size…I’m this case it doesn’t matter. His size is comparable to some of the best in the game. So are his college stats.

    The issue of him being a 4-3 guy means nothing to me…He can evolve into a 3-4 player…plus, come next year, we don’t know what our base defense will be…though I’ve grown to like the 3-4.

    I wanted on of the lines to be the pick, and with the OL guys flying off the board, I expected it to be DL.

    Also, Licht can find good OL players in rounds 2-4

  20. YucsBall Says:

    dude is gonna be a monster

  21. Jim Says:

    All week the JL loving Joe-Joes said the Bucs should not invest another #1 on the OL because they did so with Wirfs. Now, that the bucs did that on the DL (to go with Vita), the JL loving Joe-Joes forgot all of that. Why is that?

  22. Pickgrin Says:

    So our new DT could probably beat MJ Stewart in a footrace…

  23. Goatfarmer Says:

    I’m still fondling over the pick. Let’s go Licht!

  24. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    While he may need to put on a few extra pounds, I can’t help but see shades of Javon Hargrave in his style of play.

  25. Buc You Says:

    He is a junior at 285 lbs… I’m sure he could add another 15 pounds to make the stat guys happy with his weight.


    If we can just keep White… then this defense will be all over the QB, from all angles.

    Solid pass rushing makes the CBs and LBs even better.

  26. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Reading the comments about Kancey, I’m feeling much better now.

  27. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Kacy Rodgers is known for his creative and strategic use of stunts and games with his defensive linemen, keeping opposing offenses constantly on their toes. Now he’s added another weapon to his tool box.

  28. ModHairKen Says:

    Welcome to Tampa, Calijah Kancey. Hope you acclimate to the heat fast and like to play a lot of downs.

    This is going to be one of the picks that people remember. This guy did not go sooner because of his size, and that was a mistake by the others. This guy is going to make an impact.

    Well done, Jason Licht. Well done.

  29. garro Says:

    College stats are all we got to go by really.
    We will see when he lines up accross from the big boys.

  30. teacherman777 Says:

    Great pick!

    DT at 19?

    Great value!!!

    And he can line up at every position!

    Even at OLB!

    Bowles is great at creating a Stealth Defense!

    Now we need a 4.4 LB/SS to play dime package LB!

    Get Devin White off the field on 3rd down!

  31. Dooley Says:

    “College stats are all we got to go by really.”

    Film > Spreadsheets

  32. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Defensive Line Coach Kacy Rodger

    Defensive Line Talent Drafted Over His Career

    Dallas Cowboys

    • Round 1, 2005: No. 20 overall – DE Marcus Spears
    • Round 4, 2005: No. 132 overall – DE Chris Canty
    • Round 7, 2005: No. 224 overall – DE Jay Ratliff
    • Round 3, 2006: No. 92 overall – DE Jason Hatcher
    • Round 1, 2007: No. 26 overall – DE Anthony Spencer

    Miami Dolphins

    • Round 2, 2008: No. 32 overall – DE Phillip Merling
    • Round 3, 2008: No. 66 overall – DE Kendall Langford
    • Round 1, 2010: No. 28 overall – DE Jared Odrick
    • Round 3, 2012: No. 72 overall – DE Olivier Vernon
    • Round 1, 2013: No. 3 overall – DE Dion Jordan

    New York Jets

    • Round 3, 2018: No. 72 overall – DE Nathan Shepherd
    • Round 6, 2018: No.180 overall – DE Folorunso Fatukasi

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    • Round 4, 2019: No.107 overall – LEO Anthony Nelson
    • Round 1, 2021: No.32 overall – LEO Joe Tryon-Shoyinka
    • Round 2, 2022: No.33 overall – DE Logan Hall

  33. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    My bad

    New York Jets
    • Round 1, 2015: No. 6 overall – DE Leonard Williams

  34. D-Rok Says:

    A 3-cone of 7.00? 7 and under is considered elite – for wide receivers! Wow that one metric alone has me thinking this guy could be a TE. (LOL!)

    Let’s hope his quickness and speed translates into production at the NFL level. If anything, I DO have hope that Bowles will use him properly as he’s a very good DC.

    Good pick! Love the ceiling for this kid.

  35. MadMax Says:

    Look for Chris Simms unbuttoned video on him. He had him as #2 and Carter as the #1 DT….no wonder we turned that pick in fast lol.

    Im liking it so far after viewing vids of him. Chris referred to him as a tazmanian devil with the high motor he has….and very strong…and will only get even better.

  36. Joe Says:

    If he gets 1 on 1 with guards, he’s going to make plays.

    Joe has a hunch that’s exactly what the Bucs will want to do.

    He is a junior at 285 lbs… I’m sure he could add another 15 pounds to make the stat guys happy with his weight.


    Bingo! After his rookie year put him in an NFL weight room all offseason and watch.

    (Heard, but have no idea if it’s true, Logan Hall beefed up this offseason.)

  37. Mike Johnson Says:

    Man..Them Eagles got even Beter on Defense. They picked up a prime DT and a DE all in the 1st rd. The rich do get richer.

  38. MadMax Says:

    @ Joes, we cant sleep on Logan Hall just yet….I know what i saw in the research and his body type when I had him as one of my guys last draft…

    Maybe he’ll turn a corner in year two. He def has the frame to bulk up.

    AND Coaching, coaching, coaching….

  39. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Brian Branch
    Keeanu Benton
    Zach Charbonnet
    Julius Brents
    Keion White
    Dawned Jones
    John Michael Schmitz