Bucs pick defensive lineman in first round

by Gary Shelton on April 28, 2023

in general

Friday, 2 a.m.

Evidently, the Bucs are going to draft defensive linemen high until they get it right.

The Rays, staying with the 19th pick in the draft, selected Pitt defensive lineman Calijah Kancey Thursday night.

Kancey played defensive tackle at Pitt, but the Bucs listed him as a defensive end when they took him.

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"He's a super disruptive interior player that you can play outside a little bit, too," said general manager Jason Licht. " I know that our coaches are excited about all the different things you can do with a player like this because of his elite athleticism, quickness."

Kancey was considered slightly undersized for his position.

"Warren Sapp was undersized, too."

It was somewhat of a surprise, perhaps spurred by the run of offensive tackles.

"The Bucs are getting a ballplayer," Kancey said. "A guy they can depend on, a guy they don't have to worry about off the field but on the field he's going to make those plays."

If there is a need for Kancey, it is because the Bucs failed to connect with their last two picks -- defensive end Joe Tryon-Shoyinka and defensive tackle Logan Hall. Neither was a major impact las season.

The Bucs still have needs going into today's second round of the draft -- offensive tackle, nickel corner and running back among them.

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