Calijah Kancey is already being labeled Bucs 'biggest bust'

The offseason isn't even over and Buccaneers rookie Calijah Kancey is being labeled as a bust.

Rhode Island v Pittsburgh
Rhode Island v Pittsburgh / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

We've yet to reach the opening of Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp, but based on the way they're being talked about they might as well not even show up.

Somewhere along the way this offseason it became en vogue to bury the Buccaneers and deem their season a failure before it even started. From Peter King calling them the second-worst team in the league to the endless trolling about Baker Mayfield succeeding Tom Brady, the Bucs have proven to be the easiest target in the NFL.

Perhaps the most offensive thing about the relentlness attacks has been how they all overlook how talented the roster is and how it can easily compete in a terribly weak NFC South. Things need to go right, and the margin for error is slim, but the Bucs are hardly D.O.A., despite what you may have heard.

That hasn't stopped them from being easy fodder, and it seems that no one is safe from the national ire.

Bleacher Report is predicting Calijah Kancey will be a bust in 2023

Bleacher Report looked at every team in the league to find one player who are safe bets to bust this season. Of the number of player on the bubble like Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, Logan Hall, and others, it was rookie Calijah Kancey who apparently has this highest bust potential.

"Kancey is diminutive by NFL defensive tackle standards. At 6'1", 281 pounds, he's even slightly thinner than Aaron Donald was (6'0", 285 pounds) when he came into the league," Ballentine writes. "Kancey's build and tape point to a player who is going to struggle to defend the run, as noted by Matt Holder in his scouting report."

Look, it's the offseason and we know just as much as anyone how hard it is to muster up takes this time of the year. Predicting Calijah Kancey as a bust gets points for being off-the-wall, but there's a long list of players who are in this conversation before he is.

To be fair, the original choice seems to have been Baker Mayfield -- which is wholly unoriginal.

Despite the questions about his size, Kancey is in a prime position to have a stellar rookie year just based on the guys around him. The Bucs aren't expecting him to do it all, and with players like Vita Vea around him, he won't have to do much heavy lifting.

In fact, playing next to Vea is the biggest early sign that Kancey could be in for a great year. Vea is one of the best defensive lineman in the league and should create pass rush opportunities for Kancey to take advantage of. As far as his skills defending the run, he may not even be asked to do much of that if Todd Bowles gets his defensive rotations set properly.

Having Kancey come in as an ears-pinned-back rusher might be the main thing he's asked to do in his first season, and as long as he's having an impact there it's unfair to ask much more. This is all assuming he does struggle against the run, which we've seen no evidence outside of his size to suggest will be the case.

The point is, this sort of criticism is indicative of how the Bucs are being viewed nationally. A single potential flaw is being used to cast doubt on the whole operation. Whether it's Todd Bowles, Baker Mayfield, the lack of Tom Brady, or the way the sun rose that morning, the Bucs are being buried when there are more ways the team finds a way to be competitive this season than ways they crater like most are expecting.

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