Bucs select DT Calijah Kancey with 19th pick in NFL draft

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Pittsburgh defensive tackle Calijah Kancey in the first round of the NFL draft Thursday night, addressing a desire to get younger and stronger up front as the team retools for the post-Tom Brady era.

The Bucs have already brought in 2018 No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield to compete with third-year pro Kyle Trask to replace Brady, who retired — this time for good, the 45-year-old quarterback says — in February.

Kancey was the 19th player drafted Thursday night and will be expected to bolster the pass rush and contribute right away on a team despite the Bucs going 8-9 in Brady's final season and coming off winning consecutive NFC South titles for the first time in franchise history.

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Offensive tackle was deemed a more pressing need following the release of veteran left tackle Donovan Smith, however depth on the defensive line was a strong consideration, too, due to the loss of Akiem Hicks, Will Gholston and Rakeem Nunez-Roches to free agency.

The Bucs are rebuilding after a three-year run with Brady that produced a Super Bowl title and three playoff berths.


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Fred Goodall, The Associated Press