Falcons Draft Profile Calijah Kancey: Strengths, weaknesses, highlights, prediction
Strengths and weaknesses
Calijah Kancey is an extremely quick and sudden defensive tackle that can get quick penetration off of the snap. He is able to blow plays up much like how Grady Jarrett does every week.
Kancey has an excellent spin and swim move from the inside and is able to shed blocks in the blink of an eye. Also, with his size (or lack thereof) he can get under the pads of offensive linemen and get excellent leverage. This can help cover up for his concerning weight.
Calijah Kancey is one of the rare defensive tackles that could potentially get double-digit sacks in the NFL because of how quickly he can win off the line. He is a player who can be in the quarterback's face by the time the quarterback gets his head turned around off of play action.
He also does not take anything for granted and is willing to run guys down even after the ball carrier gets through the defensive box.
The main thing you worry about with Calijah Kancey is the lack of weight. He is basically the same weight as Aaron Donald but Donald has been an exception in the NFL, so you can't just ignore his 280-pound frame.
It does show up on the field too; he can get blown backward off of the snap and if an offensive lineman is able to deal with his finesse and get their hands on him, it is basically over for Kancey. There were way too many plays where Kancey didn't get more than two yards past the line of scrimmage.
With all of that, he simply relies on finesse way too much. Whoever ends up with him needs to teach him to use his leverage more frequently. As I mentioned before, he shows the ability to use his upward power and leverage but it is rare.
Calijah Kancey is the type of defensive tackle that you would expect him to be just by looking at him; a quick DT who has relied on finesse throughout his college career. He can find success using his leverage, nevertheless, he relied on his swim and spin moves way too much at Pittsburgh. If a team can get him to consistently get under the pads of his opposition, then he can be a great player in the NFL.
I just didn't see the overall, consistent dominance you would like to see from a potential first-round pick. There were too many plays where he failed to get three yards into the backfield and that is a concerning observation. The talent is there and he had good stats but the lack of proven ability to win without finesse keeps him from earning a higher grade.