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Bucs Ink Draft Picks Calijah Kancey and Yaya Diaby

Tampa Bay has just one remaining unsigned rookie after getting deals done with first-round selection DL Calijah Kancey and third-round pick OLB Yaya Diaby on Wednesday

Calijah selection

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have just one more minicamp practice before they take a lengthy pre-training camp break, but they also have some contract work to get done. They took care of most of it on Wednesday afternoon, signing first-round pick Calijah Kancey and third-round pick Yaya Diaby to their rookie deals. That leaves only second-round selection Cody Mauch still unsigned.

Kancey, a defensive lineman out of the University of Pittsburgh who was taken with the 19th-overall pick in April, inked a four-year deal with a fifth-year team option, which is standard for all first-round selections. Diaby, a an outside linebacker from Louisvill and the 82nd-overall pick, signed a four-year contract, as do all players selected in the second through seventh rounds. Last week, the Buccaneers got deals done with five players selected in the fifth and sixth rounds: inside linebacker SirVocea Dennis, tight end Payne Durham, defensive back Josh Hayes, wide receiver Trey Palmer and outside linebacker Jose Ramirez.

Drafted players who have not yet signed a rookie contract are allowed to participate in offseason activities via injury waivers. However, they may not report to training camp without a signed deal. That said, rookie holdouts have become extremely rare since the standardization of their contracts in the 2011 CBA, and it is likely Mauch will be ready to go at the beginning of camp.

Kancey is expected to have an immediate impact on the Bucs' defensive front as a pass-rushing interior lineman who will complement the power game of Pro Bowl lineman Vita Vea. A 6-1, 281-pound defender with an explosive first step and a well-developed set of pass rush moves, Kancey was a unanimous first-team All-America selection in his junior year at Pitt after reording 7.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss.

Diaby (6-3, 263) could also quickly factor into the Bucs' defensive efforts as the team looks to build a deeper and more productive edge rush in 2023. He brings a combination of speed, power and length to the edge and will compete to be a key member of an outside linebacker rotation with Shaquil Barrett, Joe Tryon-Shoyinka and Anthony Nelson. Diaby concluded his three years at Louisville with a nine-sack, 14-TFL effort in 2022.

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