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Why the Saints should look at drafting DT Calijah Kancey

Kancey set the record for the fastest 40-yard dash time for a DT since 2003.

NFL Combine Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

When you hear the term “speedster,” you usually think of a WR, HB, or CB. But what if I told you that there was a DT that just set a 40-yard dash record? Calijah Kancey ran a 4.67, setting the record for the fastest 40-yard dash time for a DT since 2003. This was the second fastest time by anyone weighing at least 280 lbs.

The 21-year-old’s combine performance earned him athletics score of 94 per NFL Next Gen Stats. This was the best athleticism score among all DTs.

Kancey had a solid three-year career at the University of Pittsburgh. He racked up 91 total tackles, 34.5 tackles for loss, and 16 sacks. His 2022 season was easily his best as he took home All-American honors and ACC Defensive Play of the Year.

The Florida native is just a mega-athlete. Aside from his speed, he’s got a great motor, is explosive, and is very loose.

The main concern for Kancey is his size, height, and length. At 6’1” and 280 lbs, he’s undersized at the DT position. However, there’s another former Pittsburgh Panther with eerily similar measurements.

The New Orleans Saints could use a lot of help at the DT position. David Onyemata is the team’s best DT and a free agent this offseason. As for the rest of the team’s DTs, there’s much to be desired. The Saints have had a hard time getting pressure on QBs. A hyper-athletic DT could be exactly what this team needs to revitalize this defensive line.

Kancey is likely a late first or early second-round pick. The Saints hold the 29th pick in the first round and the 40th in the second round. This puts the team in a great position to draft Kancey, if they desire.

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