Huard on Seahawks Draft: Trio of D-linemen to watch at combine

Feb 28, 2023, 11:43 AM
Seahawks draft Calijah Kancey...
Calijah Kancey of the Pittsburgh Panthers reacts after a sack on Sept. 24, 2022. (Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
(Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

It’s no secret that the Seahawks need help up front on defense. Lucky for them, they’ll get a front row view of many of the top defensive prospects this week during the NFL Scouting Combine.

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Some of the top names that Seahawks fans know well, such as Georgia’s Jalen Carter and Texas Tech’s Tyree Wilson, aren’t doing much at the event, but former NFL quarterback Brock Huard broke down a few other defenders to keep an eye on this week during Tuesday’s edition of Brock and Salk.

“They’re going to be the first group that goes out on Thursday,” Huard said of the defensive line prospects. “And you’ve seen this name Keion White.”

White is a 6-foot-5, 286-pound defensive end from Georgia Tech who had 7.5 sacks for the Yellow Jackets in 2022.

“A lot of the draft guys really like him. The Senior Bowl, (event director and former Seahawks scout) Jim Nagy down there at the Senior Bowl fell in love with his athleticism,” Huard said. ” … He’s a little bit of a late bloomer, but man has he got traits. He’s a ‘traitsy’, explosive, bendy, run down the field, get after the quarterback (guy). Is there as much production over time that you’d love to see? Maybe not necessarily, but keep an eye on Keion White. He jumped up to 15 on (NFL Network analyst) Daniel Jeremiah’s top-50. He jumped all the way up to No. 15.”

Who’s another guy Huard is keeping a close eye on this week?

“There’s an undersized D-tackle out of Pittsburgh. You ever heard that before?” Huard said, referencing star LA Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald. “An undersized 6-foot, 280-pounder, out of Pitt who doesn’t have the length of the arms, doesn’t have some of the stuff to play the run but all he does is destroy things on contact. His name is Calijah Kancey.”

Kancey may be just 6-feet tall and weigh 280 pounds, but he was a force for Pitt last season and was a unanimous All-American and ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2022 when he had seven sacks.

The last name Huard is looking at won’t workout with the defensive line, but instead at linebacker.

“There’s a linebacker (who will work out) the next day โ€“ he’s kind of a linebacker/D-end โ€“ Nolan Smith out of Georgia,” he said. “He’s another guy. He was banged up this year, there may be some great value with him.”

Smith is 6-3 and 235 pounds and won two titles at Georgia. He played just eight games last season due to an injury but had three sacks in that stretch.

You can listen to the full Blue 88 segment, which airs live at 7:45 a.m. during each edition of Brock and Salk, in the podcast at this link or in the player below.

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