NFL Hot Press: Kancey Still on the Bubble Between Round 1 and Round 2

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Combine Logo Kancey Still on the Bubble Between Round 1 and Round 2

Updated March 4, 2023
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

Pittsburgh defensive tackle Calijah Kancey was one of the stars of the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday. He ran the fastest 40-yard dash for a defensive tackle over the past 20 years, timing 4.67 seconds. Entering the combine, Kancey was projected to be a potential late first-round, or early second-round pick for the 2023 NFL Draft. Despite his stellar workout, team sources say Kancey is still on the bubble between Rounds 1 and 2.

The reason why Kancey failed to move the needle with teams is because of the concern over his size. At 280 pounds, Kancey is underweight for an interior defensive lineman in the NFL. Also at 6-foot-1, he is short and lacks the length that teams like their defensive linemen to have.

One night here in Indianapolis while speaking with an NFC general manager, I told him I had Kancey going in the back half of the first round of my 2023 NFL Mock Draft. That general manager said I was probably too high and stated Kancey was more likely to be a second-round pick. They agreed that Kancey’s pass-rush ability is impressive, but the size really bothered that general manager. Every year, there are some second-round-graded players who get selected in Round 1. Kancey has a shot at being one of those players this year, but team sources say they still see Kancey on the bubble between the first two nights of the 2023 NFL Draft.