Why Calijah Kancey would be perfect Jaguars for team in 2023 NFL Draft

Led by head coach Doug Pederson, the Jacksonville Jaguars defied expectations in 2022. Just one season after having their second straight first-overall pick, the team made a run in the playoffs. After taking down Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers in the Wild Card round, they fell just short of taking down Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Heading into 2023, the Jaguars have assembled a strong core full of young and talented playmakers. At running back, Travis Etienne has shown real potential. Given that he can continue to grow his game, he could be a top threat next season.

Jacksonville has also put together one of the NFL’s more underrated groups of pass catchers. In his first season with the team, Christian Kirk looked to be a legitimate WR1. They have now paired him up with one of the NFL’s top wide receivers in Calvin Ridley. After being suspended for 2022, Ridley will look to make an instant impact. Veteran Zay Jones will also play a key role as their third wide receiver. Evan Engram will also try to build off of a strong first season as the team’s starting tight end. With an offensive line that also showed potential in 2022, this unit could be prepared to make an even bigger leap next season.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Jaguars have invested heavily through both the draft and free agency. 2022 first-overall pick Travon Walker showed flashes of potential during his rookie season. He has the tools required to develop into a star within this defense. Other players such as Foyesade Oluokun and Devin Lloyd also look to be building blocks for the defense. But the unit is still in need of star power.

With their first first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Jaguars could choose to go in several different directions. But this needs across the defense, they could look to make a splash.

At pick 24, many of the projected top picks will already be gone, but elite talent still be available, especially on the interior. Out of this year’s group of defensive linemen, some may be a better fit for the Jaguars than others. But Pitt’s Calijah Kancey could be the perfect prospect for the team. Here’s why.

Here are 2 reasons why Calijah Kancey will be the perfect fit for the Jaguars in the NFL Draft.

2. Would fill a need on the interior of the Jaguars D-Line

When looking at the current makeup of the Jaguars defensive front, there has been a clear effort to solidify the edges. With Walker and Josh Allen, they have an elite threat coming off of the corners. But the same cannot be said for the interior. The arrival of Calijah Kancey would immediately address this in the best way that the team can.

Over his three seasons at Pitt, Kancey proved to be a force along the defensive line. While appearing in 33 total games, he recorded 52 solo tackles, 91 total tackles, 34.5 tackles for loss, and 16 sacks.

In his final collegiate season, he posted the best numbers of his collegiate career. Over 11 games, he recorded 17 solo tackles, 31 total tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, and 7.5 sacks. This marked his second straight season with double-digit tackles for loss.

While Kancey comes in at just 6’1″ and 281 pounds, his size has not held him back throughout his career. He has been a dominant figure in the interior, and projects to do the same at the next level.

1. Kancey would give the Jaguars a legitimate young core on defense

As noted, Walker showed high upside during his rookie season. While appearing in 15 games, he recorded 24 solo tackles, 49 total tackles, five tackles for loss, 10 quarterback hits, and 3.5 sacks. He also added two defended passes, one interception, and one forced fumble.

Alongside Walker, Lloyd put together a strong rookie season at linebacker. Through 17 games, and 15 starts, he racked up 59 solo tackles, 115 total tackles, eight defended passes and three interceptions.

Along with these young playmakers, Josh Allen has developed into the star off the edge that many projected him to be. Through four seasons, he has recorded 119 solo tackles, 185 total tackles, 36 tackles for loss, 70 quarterback hits, and 27.5 sacks.

With this group of defenders, Calijah Kancey could be what help takes them over the top. A true force on the interior would not only fill a need but would also help the rest of the unit find success. It would also give the Jaguars an elite group of defenders who are all 25 years old or younger.

The post Why Calijah Kancey would be perfect Jaguars for team in 2023 NFL Draft appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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