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Buccaneers sign top pick Calijah Kancey, 3rd-rounder YaYa Diaby

Only one pick remains unsigned from the Buccaneers’ 2023 NFL Draft class.

NFL: MAY 13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rookie Minicamp Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Buccaneers officially announced Wednesday the signings of first-round pick Calijah Kancey and third-round pick YaYa Diaby.

Kancey, a defensive tackle from the University of Pittsburgh, will receive the standard four-year NFL contract with a fifth-year option that comes with being a first-rounder. The option guarantees that extra control that can be so pivotal for ensuring another year of productive service or further evaluation.

The value is determined by the rookie wage scale laid out by the CBA, so Kancey will receive more than $14 million guaranteed over the course of his deal.

Diaby, an edge rusher from the University of Louisville, signed a four-year deal worth a projected $5.4 million as a third-round pick.

Both figure to be involved heavily in the regular defensive rotation from the get-go. Kancey’s electric speed and technical finesse should bring a much-needed jolt to a defensive line that lacked juice last season. He spoke about his fit in the defense on Thursday.

““I love [the defense], it’s awesome,” Kancey said. “A lot of movements, which I’m good at. Speed in the interior is what we want. I think it’s a great thing. I love it.”

Diaby is another athletic specimen who profiles more as a power rusher, definitely more raw than Kancey, but should nevertheless add more dynamism to an edge attack that faces an uncertain future with Shaq Barrett still on the mend from his Achilles tendon tear.

Having them both signed and taken care of gets procedural hassle out of the way and ensures full availability for training camp, which will begin in roughly 6 weeks.