Pitt star Calijah Kancey units report at NFL Combine

The Pittsburgh Steelers entered the 2022 draft in want of a quarterback. They regarded subsequent door on the UPMC Rooney facility on the South Side and drafted Kenny Pickett out of the University of Pittsburgh.

This yr, alongside the defensive position, the Steelers will enter the draft with 33-year-old Pro Bowler Cameron Heyward below contract, together with Montravius Adams and prospects Isaiahh Loudermilk and DeMarvin Leal.

But not a lot else. Larry Ogunjobi, Chris Wormley and Tyson Alualu are all free brokers.

Might the Steelers knock on Pitt’s door as soon as once more for assist? Based on some outcomes from the NFL Combine on Thursday, Panthers defensive lineman Calijah Kancey could also be much more attractive than he was earlier than this week’s exercises.

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Kancey measured in at 6-foot-1, 281 kilos. So when it comes to measurement and construct, Kancey could also be seen as a little bit of a tweener for the Steelers’ system. Then once more, some thought one other former Pitt star alongside the defensive entrance, Rams All-Pro Aaron Donald, could also be too small for the NFL as properly. Three NFL Defensive Player of Year trophies later, any issues about measurement and scheme suits had been disproven.

But it wasn’t Kancey’s measurements that caught the eyes of scouts. It was his 40-yard sprint time. At first, it appeared that Kancey ran the 40 in a powerful 4.73 seconds throughout his second try.

However, Kancey’s official time truly got here in at 4.67 seconds. According to ESPN.com, that’s the quickest time by a defensive sort out on the mix since 2006, when ESPN Stats & Information started monitoring information from the occasion.

That time actually stood out amongst these at his place.

It’s clear Kancey knew his efficiency opened eyes.

Kancey — an Outland Trophy finalist — led the nation’s inside defenders this previous season with 14.5 tackles for loss and completed with 7.5 sacks. He was Pitt’s first unanimous All-American since Donald in 2013. Donald ran a 4.68 40-yard sprint on the 2014 mix.

NFL.com layered video of Kancey’s first attempt with Donald’s official time 9 years in the past.

Even earlier than Thursday’s efficiency, Kancey was projected as a first-round choose in a number of mock drafts. Kancey can have one other probability to impress scouts throughout his Pro Day on March 29.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review employees author. You can contact Tim at tbenz@triblive.com or through Twitter. All tweets may very well be reposted. All emails are topic to publication except specified in any other case.

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