Aaron Donald 2.0? Pitt DT Calijah Kancey Breaks Record at Combine

Calijah Kancey could become a potential name to watch for the Rams with the No. 36 pick.

While Aaron Donald confirmed he will return for the 2023 season, the Los Angeles Rams once again had to deal with speculation and rumors of his potential retirement this offseason.

Of course, Donald can’t play forever, and when he does retire he will do so as one of the best defensive players in NFL history. However, could the Rams draft his potential heir apparent with their first pick at No. 36?

Enter Calijah Kancey, a 6-foot-1, 281-pound defensive tackle out of Donald’s alma mater, Pitt. Kancey took the NFL world by storm on Thursday at the combine, posting a 4.67 40-yard dash. 

That time alone is impressive for someone of Kancey’s size, but it also broke Donald’s previous record for a defensive tackle of 4.68 seconds and is the fastest at the position since 2000.

Drafting Kancey and expecting him to be Donald 2.0 would not be realistic, but he could potentially develop under the superstar. 

One look at the stats for Kancey at Pitt and the potential is clear. He recorded 31 total tackles in his final season, including a whopping 14.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks as he showed an ability to wreak havoc in opposing backfields. 

What the Rams ultimately do with the No. 36 pick is yet to be seen, with several mock drafts linking them to help along the offensive line. After Kancey’s combine performance, though, he could shoot up draft boards and become a name to watch for the Rams come April. 

You can find Connor Zimmerlee on Twitter @Connorjz98

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