Kancey might not even be 6 feet tall but he terrorized guards and centers this year. Every pass rush rep for him looks like the game is on the line. The Jets have a significant interior defensive line need, but more for a bigger bodied run stuffer in later rounds.
Pass Rush Artist
Calijah Kancey is rare in almost every aspect of his game and physical makeup and it's what makes him one of the most intriguing prospects in this class. In his final season at Pittsburgh, Kancey had 7.5 sacks in 11 games after missing the end of the season with a shoulder injury. He had a 92.4 pass rush grade, and a 22.7% pass rush win rate (according to PFF) which led all interior defensive linemen.
Kancey is traditionally undersized. He measured in at 6'0" and 281 lbs. He has 1 percentile arms at 30 inches. But Kancey's athletic profile is as elite as it gets. He ran a 4.67 second 40 at the Combine with a 1.64 second 10-yard split. At his Pro-Day Kancey ran a 6.82 second unofficial three-cone (99th percentile) and a 4.33 second shuttle. All of his testing confirmed the cat-like quickness and rare agility he put on tape.
Against the run, Kancey is definitely not the type of IDL to take on double teams and keep LBs clean. Instead he's a penetrator and best supports by getting into the backfield quickly and disrupting. He's more of a gap shooter vs an occupier. He definitely has his share of moments being driven out or put on his back but that comes with the territory at this size.
As a pass rusher Kancey is one of the best in this draft. He possesses other-worldly agility for his size and is as creative as an EDGE rusher with the techniques he uses to get around IOL. He's a fluid mover with power hands despite the shorter arm length. As a result, he adds a bit of extra wiggle with his swim and rip moves that makes them extra effective. Kancey won't go through too many IOL while rushing so he'd benefit from a bit more space in his pass rush lane so he can use his speed advantage. It'd be best to put him along-side an effective wide rusher in passing situations.
It's easy to get excited with Aaron Donald comparisons but Kancey isn't the same level of powerful. But it's worth getting excited about what Kancey could be in the right scheme. If you add him to an already strong 4-3 defensive line where he could play off of a larger threat at IDL... let's say maybe someone like Quinnen Williams...Kancey could thrive.