2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Calijah Kancey, DT, University of Pittsburgh
Pitt defensive tackle Calijah Kancey is seen as a future star by many. I break down the skillset he brings to the table here.
Calijah Kancey is a player that will produce differing opinions amongst teams and analysts. Some are very high on him due to his pass rushing ability, while others won’t value his skillset as highly because he’s undersized and could struggle against the run.
The scouting report is also available in a video format here. I strongly encourage everyone to watch that video as it allows you to visualize everything I discuss in this scouting report.
Height/Weight: 6-foot-0 5/8, 281 pounds
High School: Northwestern HS (Miami, FL)
Recruit (247): 2019 class No. 850 Natl No. 63 DT
2022 Stats: 47 pressures 8 sacks 21 stops
2022 PFF: 91.8
2021 Stats: 38 pressures 9 sacks 26 stops
2021 PFF: 84.6
- Pass Rush Repertoire
- Hand usage is elite – right up there with Jalen Carter amongst DTs in this class in that area.
- Wins consistently on pass rushes because he can win in so many different ways effectively.
- Can win with rip moves because of his lower body flexibility – looks like an edge rusher with this ability.
- Wins with hand swipes combined with his quickness to get around the offensive line.
- Not super powerful but has a shrug move that he can win with at times where he extends his arms and gets his hands on OL’s armpits to move him out of his path.
- Due to this pass rush repertoire that makes the worst case scenario for him in the NFL is to be utilized as a third down, pass rush specialist.
- Put on an all-time display at the combine – 4.67 40 time was the best for a DT since 2003.
- This with his 1.64 10 yard split shows his rare level of explosiveness.
- Quickness is very apparent when you watch him.
- Won with quickness in college consistently and will be able to do that consistently in the NFL as well.
- Very productive in his career at Pitt, in particular as a pass rusher.
- Graded out 80+ on PFF for three seasons, including a 91.8 PFF grade in 2022.
- 92.4 pass rush grade in 2022 was the best of any DI in the FBS.
- In 2021 he led all ACC DIs in PFF grade (84.6) pressures (38) and sacks (9).
- Combine measurements of 6-foot-1, 281 pounds.
- Held up fine against the run at Pitt, but the concern is how well will he hold up against bigger and more powerful NFL offensive linemen.
- Will be susceptible to double teams in the run game.
- Some teams may not even consider drafting him in the first round and instead prefer bigger DTs who are better suited to play the run.
Pos Rank: DT2
Projection: First Round
Kancey is a player that will have a lot of differing opinions on him. His size is a concern, but the pass rush skillset he brings to the table makes him a top 20 player in the class for me.