Top 5 players the NY Jets should completely avoid in 2023 NFL Draft
By Justin Fried
2. The NY Jets should not target Pittsburgh DT Calijah Kancey
If there's one thing we know about Robert Saleh, it's that he's always in favor of adding more defensive linemen. That's why it's impossible to discount the idea that the Jets add a defensive tackle or even an edge rusher early in this year's draft.
One player they've been connected to quite a bit is Pittsburgh's Calijah Kancey. There's a lot to like about Kancey as a prospect, despite his obvious lack of size.
Kancey is an exceptional athlete who dominated the competition at Pittsburgh. He became the school's first Unanimous All-American since Aaron Donald this past season — and the Donald comparisons don't end there.
While he may not be the same caliber of prospect as Donald, both players are undersized but freakishly athletic defensive tackles from the same school. The comparisons were always inevitable.
That said, Donald remains an outlier. He's an exception to the rule, and it's unfair to compare any player to him. Kancey faces significant challenges at the NFL level due to his size.
Perhaps most important, however, is that the Jets don't need another defensive tackle like Kancey. Kancey projects best as an athletic starting 3-technique defensive tackle in the NFL. That's the role Quinnen Williams currently fills.
The Jets also went out and signed veteran Quinton Jefferson earlier this month, another player who fits that archetype. The Jets need a more traditional run-stuffing, big-bodied defensive tackle — not another athletic pass rusher.
It's hard to see a future where Williams and Kancey start alongside each other and both reach their potential. I like Kancey as a prospect, but I don't love his fit with the Jets.