3 potential Bengals draft choices for max impact in the first round
Calijah Kancey, DT (Pittsburgh)
All pass rushes are not the same. Pressure off the edge is well and good, however, if the quarterback has room to step up in the pocket he can buy a few tenths to get the ball to his receiver.
The key to a great pass rush is great edges, and a great 3 technique tackle to give the quarterback nowhere to go, but, down. The Bengals have been missing this essential element since Larry Ogunjobi left last year.
B.J. Hill has been solid, but, has not compressed the pocket. With a PFF grade of 65.8 and four sacks, someone to add some extra juice inside is warranted. Zach Carter had an improving rookie campaign, but, he was not the answer for the pass rush either.
The answer could be in this draft with Calijah Kancey a quick, powerful, but, undersized whirling dervish of pass-rush destruction.
With the likely departure of Jesse Bates and potentially Vonn Bell, the Bengals will not want to be leaning on their coverage teams in 2023 early. Limiting the time of the quarterback will be essential and returning an inside pass rush will add a new high-impact dimension to the defense.
The numbers include a 40 time of 4.67 seconds at 282 pounds! While not an every-down player according to most analysts he will be an instant impact on a pass rush and don't forget that a guy named Aaron Donald was similarly undersized. The Bengals experienced his disruption firsthand in Super Bowl LVI.