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2023 NFL Scouting Combine recap: Defense

Which potential targets on defense stood out during this years NFL Scouting Combine?

NFL Combine Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Calijah Kancey - DT (Pittsburgh)

If the New Orleans Saints decide to go defense this year in the draft one of the biggest needs, they have is on the defensive line. They could be faced with the prospect of both Marcus Davenport and David Onyemata leaving via free agency and will need replacements for those two starters if the wish to remain competitive in the NFC South. Pitt’s Calijah Kancey could be a player the Saints may target if they wish to strengthen their DL. Kancey ran a 4.67 40-yard dash, the fastest for a DT at the combine since 2006 and slightly better than his fellow Pitt alumni Aaron Donald. He ranked first among DT’s in athletic score and 2nd in production and overall score at the combine according to NFL Next Gen stats. Pair this freakish athleticism with a unanimous All-American selection, being and Outland Trophy finalist, and getting 14 sacks in 20 regular season games over the last two seasons and you have an ideal prospect to help the Saints defensive line which struggled mightily last season.

Georgia Plays TCU In CFP Championship Game At SoFi Stadium In Inglewood Photo by Will Lester/MediaNews Group/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin via Getty Images

Kelee Ringo - CB (Georgia)

Ringo is a big physical corner who measured at 6’2” 207 pounds at this year's combine. He also ran a very impressive 4.36 40-yard dash, the 5th best among CBs and by far the best for a CB who weighed in at over 200 pounds. Ringo proved at this year's combine that he has the impressive size and speed combination that made him a 5-star recruit and the top CB on Georgia’s back-to-back national title teams. Ringo still needs some work skill wise to become a top CB in the NFL but given that he came out as only a sophomore and already has every trait that can’t be taught, if the Saints are looking for a CB Ringo may be the best prospect left on the board at pick #29 or maybe even pick #40.

NFL Combine Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Keion White - DE (Georgia Tech)

White is one of the better run defenders in this year's draft from the defensive end position. His first year in college at Old Dominion a year after transitioning from playing Tight End he registered 19 tackles for loss to set a new school record, and in 2022 at Georgia Tech he got 14 TFLs to go along with 7.5 sacks. White is a big DE measuring at 6’5” 285 points with an arm length of 34”. White ranked third among all players at the bench press doing 30 reps of the 225 pounds. White came into his own as a DE last season, being rewarded for setting his career best in sacks by being recognized as a third team All-ACC player. White strength and size at DE would be a good fit for the Saints defense, and one that they could likely get without having to maneuver much in the draft.

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