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Pitt DT Calijah Kancey Projected as 1st Round Pick in Mock 2023 Draft



After taking Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett with their first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, an early mock 2023 NFL Draft has the Pittsburgh Steelers heading back across the hall to their South Side neighbors and finding first-round talent.

A mock 2023 NFL Draft by Cam Mellor of Pro Football Network released on Wednesday has the Steelers, projected to pick 11th, taking Pitt defensive tackle Calijah Kancey with their first selection.

“Calijah Kancey has the ability to play a bevy of positions at the NFL level,” Mellor wrote. “Though smaller in stature, the road map for his dominance at the NFL level is that of former Pittsburgh Panther Aaron Donald.”

That’s a lofty comparison, but in his time at Pitt, it’s one that Kancey has made reasonable. After redshirting in 2019, he worked his way into the rotation at defensive tackle as a freshman in 2020, playin in 11 games and starting four. He had 27 tackles, seven of which came for a loss and 1.5 sacks to earn freshman All-America honors from the FWAA, Rivals and The Athletic.

In 2021, he started all 14 games as the Panthers won their first ACC title and made it to the Peach Bowl. Kancey finished the season with 35 tackles, a whopping 13 of which went for a loss, and seven sacks. He also had one pass breakup and two quarterback hurries. For that performance, he was named first-team All-ACC and a third-team Associated Press All-American, and he’s coming back for a repeat performance.

“That’s the standard here, sacks and TFLs,” Kancey said in March during spring practice. “Everyone here is ready, a lot of young guys stepping up and a lot of older guys just polishing and knocking off the rust.”

The Steelers began to address the age of their defensive line in the 2022 NFL Draft with the selection of Texas A&M tackle DeMarvin Leal in the third round. Taking Kancey with their top pick next year would shore up the position for years to come.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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13 days ago

My official scouting report: he’s not bad!

12 days ago

Not sure what Kancey’s laying on the ground during the ACC Championship and Peach Bowl will do to his Draft status. It did not go unnoticed that he held up Play multiple times and then was back on the field within Several plays later.

For Narduzzi to say PSU was not Diving against Iowa and then Look the Other Way when his own Players did the Same against WF and Michigan State thereafter was unacceptable.

Both sets of Opposing fans knew what was up and it disrupted WF fast-pace Offense.

Last edited 12 days ago by SRS
12 days ago
Reply to  SRS


12 days ago

Can we play the season first. One day after this years draft they’re projecting next year already. This is like those “watch lists” that put half the kids in the country on them so the schools can brag on their websites.

11 days ago
Reply to  JLE

ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay liked to get Paid year round not just February through April.

March Madness

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