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ESPN’s Mel Kiper Predicts Pitt DL Kancey to go No. 10 Overall to Philadelphia Eagles



ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. released his predictions for the 2023 NFL Draft First-Round through the first 31 picks. He chose to place Pitt defensive lineman Calijah Kancey at the No. 10 pick to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Kiper wrote that Kancey fits well in the Eagles for a few reasons. The Eagles earned this high draft pick from a trade with the New Orleans Saints last year. They Eagles play the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game on Sunday, Jan. 29.

Philadelphia will need to make big decisions on their defensive line and will likely lose one or two players, as they ask for more money and the team works on the salary cap. He writes that selecting Kancey at the No. 10 pick helps Philadelphia to become younger, while also bringing a top player who will keep the top defensive performances coming.

“Kancey’s 2022 tape is extremely impressive, and I moved him way up my Big Board,” Kiper wrote. “He wreaked havoc the past two seasons, racking up 13.5 sacks when lined up as a defensive tackle, the most in the country. At 6-foot, 280 pounds, he’s undersized, but so was former Pitt tackle Aaron Donald. (To be clear, he’s not Donald, but he’s still pretty good.) We know Philadelphia general manager Howie Roseman invests heavily in the D-line, and Kancey would fit next to 2022 first-rounder Jordan Davis.”

Kiper made Kancey his fourth defensive linemen to go in the NFL Draft in the top 10. He put Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter at No. 1 to the Chicago Bears, Texas A&M defensive end Tyree Wilson at No. 6 to the Detroit Lions and Clemson defensive end Myles Murphy at No. 8 to the Atlanta Falcons.

Kancey finished the 2022 season with 31 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 total sacks in 11 games playing as an interior defensive lineman. He ranked fourth in the ACC with 1.32 tackles for loss per game and tied for fourth overall in total tackles for loss. Kancey also ranked seventh in the ACC with .68 sacks per game and tied for third in total sacks.

For his efforts, sportswriters across the country made Kancey a unanimous All-American, the first since former defensive lineman Aaron Donald in 2013. He also earned ACC Defensive Player of the year and made his second First-Team All-ACC in 2022. 

In his Pitt career, through three seasons, Kancey recorded 91 tackles (52 solo), 34.5 tackles for loss, 16 sacks, three pass breakups and a forced fumble.

Kancey declared for the draft in December, which comes as hardly a surprise to anybody who watched his high level of play over these past three seasons.

Kiper also predicted former Pitt Biletnikoff winner, wide receiver Jordan Addison to go to the New York Giants at the No. 25 pick.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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3 days ago

wow .. way to go Calijah. That will be a nice payday. well-deserved. H2P !

3 days ago

I hope so! He’s been a great Pitt Panther. We need to get more and more top HS and transfer DL coming in to learn from the best DL coaching staff in college football. H2P!!!

3 days ago
Reply to  kevin

Except that Kancey was only a 3-star recruit without a ton of power-five offers, similar to Deslin, Haba, SirVocea, Izzy, Jared Wayne, Brandon Hill, plus some others…all declaring for the NFL draft.
Sure seems as if this staff excels at identifying h.s. talent and then developing that talent within their system…gotta keep up the good work.

3 days ago
Reply to  Dixon

Ummm, yeah, notice something? Duzz was the defensive coordinator at MSU before coming to Pitt. Kind of the same as being Pitt vs. State Penn in this state, as MSU vs.UM in their state isn’t it? Recruiting is all about recruiting talent sure, but it’s also about creating depth where you can develop talent. That’s why AD is the star he is now,and why Cancey will be the next 1st round pick. These guys were given a chance to develop;people like to crack on Pitt for no getting the 5 star kids; guess what, the vast majority of those kids… Read more »

3 days ago

I would LOVE him in Philly, but not at 10. That’s a reach.

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