(WHTM) — Pittsburgh defensive lineman Calijah Kancey has been selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the 19th overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Kancey was one of the most dominant defensive lineman in college. He led Pitt with 7.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss in just 11 games for the Panthers.
His explosiveness on the line earned Kancey a nod as a first-team All-American in eight major publications and coaches organizations for the 2022 season. He was also named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year.
Kancey is the first Pitt player since defensive tackle Aaron Donald (2013) to earn Unanimous All-American status from the five official NCAA selectors. Donald is widely considered one of the best defensive tackles in all of NFL history and Kancey could be the next Pitt great to follow in his footsteps.
However dominant Kancey has been this season, he revealed something surprising to NFL Network in mid-April when he said on NFL NOW that he did not take single pre-draft visit with any teams.
Although undersized for a defensive lineman, only standing six feet tall, teams love Kancey’s explosive ability as an interior pass rusher. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, the Pitt product had the second best NFL Combine of any defensive tackle in the draft. He scored a near perfect 98/100 in his Athleticism Score.
The NFL projects Kancey to eventually turn into an above average NFL starter. But he has the talent to immediately start his rookie season and start causing havoc on the interior of a defensive line.
The 2023 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 27 through Saturday, April 29 and will air on abc27 starting at 8 p.m. on Thursday night. The second round starts at 7 p.m. on Friday and the final rounds begin at 12 p.m. on Saturday.