As an avid fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I am always eager to share my thoughts on their latest moves. With the recent pick of Calijah Kancey in the draft, I am curious to know what other fans think. Kancey is a promising defensive tackle and could bring some much-needed depth to the Bucs’ defensive line. So, I created a poll to gauge how the fan base is feeling about this pick. Let’s see what everyone has to say!
Buccaneers’ Pick of Calijah Kancey: A Wise Choice or Not?
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made their decision regarding the defensive line in the 2021 NFL Draft by selecting Calijah Kancey. The young player out of Iowa State was picked up in the sixth round by the Super Bowl champions. But does the decision to draft Kancey make sense for the team’s future success?
Before we dive into the meat of this decision, let me briefly introduce Calijah Kancey to those who may not be aware. Kancey is a 6’1”, 275-pound defensive tackle who played college football for Iowa State. He started 11 games in 2020, putting up 4.5 sacks, 7 tackles for loss, and 28 total tackles, making him one of the team’s standout performers.
Now, let’s address the question at hand: Was drafting Kancey the right decision for the Buccaneers?
The Pros of Drafting Kancey
One of the immediate benefits of drafting Kancey is his versatility as a player. As a defensive tackle, he has the size and strength to play inside, but he also has the lateral quickness and speed to play some defensive end. This kind of versatility is highly valued by NFL teams, and it’s something that Kancey showcased during his time at Iowa State.
Furthermore, Kancey has an impressive work ethic, has demonstrated grit, and is a smart, cerebral player. He’s able to diagnose plays quickly and has the ability to break down offensive line schemes, which allows him to quickly get into the backfield to disrupt plays. We know that the Buccaneers are looking to repeat, and adding a player like Kancey helps their chances of doing so.
Another pro of drafting Kancey is his upside as a player. While his production in college was solid, he showed flashes of brilliance, especially towards the end of last season. There’s a belief amongst some NFL analysts that Kancey has the potential to be a diamond in the rough. If he manages to tap into that potential, his ceiling could be significantly higher than the what the Buccaneers may have seen on game tape.
The Cons of Drafting Kancey
No player is perfect, and Kancey’s selection does bring some potential drawbacks.
One of those drawbacks could be his limited experience. While he started 11 games last season, that’s not a large enough sample size for the Buccaneers to know what they’re getting in Kancey. He could end up being a project player, which may not be ideal for a team looking to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
Furthermore, while Kancey’s versatility is a definite plus, his size could be a problem at the NFL level. At 6’1″ and 275 pounds, he’s on the smaller side for a defensive tackle. If he can’t hold his own at the point of attack against NFL linemen, he may struggle to make an impact.
Lastly, and more importantly, Kancey was a sixth-round draft pick. History tells us that most sixth-round picks don’t end up making an impact in the NFL; some of them don’t even make their team’s final 53-man roster. While there are exceptions to the rule (Tom Brady is the most notable one), the odds are stacked against Kancey. The fact of the matter is that the Buccaneers would have been better off drafting someone with a higher pedigree.
The Final Verdict
Overall, the Buccaneers’ decision to draft Calijah Kancey is a wise one. Despite the drawbacks mentioned, there’s a lot to like about Kancey as a prospect. His versatility, work ethic, and potential make him an intriguing option for the Buccaneers, and it’s not hard to see why they decided to take a chance on him.
It’s also worth noting that the Buccaneers’ front office has shown plenty of savvy in recent years when it comes to drafting defensive players. Just in the last two years, they’ve added impact players like Tristan Wirfs, Antoine Winfield Jr., and Devin White. There’s no reason to doubt their ability to evaluate talent, and Kancey is no exception.
It’s unrealistic to expect Kancey to come in and make an immediate impact for the Buccaneers in 2021, but his upside and potential make him a smart pick. He’s a player who could be a valuable rotational piece at defensive tackle and defensive end in the coming years, and that’s not a bad outcome for a sixth-round pick. All things considered, the Buccaneers made a wise choice by drafting Calijah Kancey.