One single adjective to adequately suit rookie defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon‘s game is simply difficult to pinpoint. Phrases though, are a different story. A genetic freak, young & raw phenom, a monstrosity lurking under a pair of shoulder pads, or even a mastermind on and off of the football field. Kpassagnon can be, and will be the real deal for the Kansas City Chiefs. As with every other 2017 Chiefs draftee (minus rookie star Kareem Hunt), Tanoh holds a roster spot to bulk up the future of the franchise. But with patience, “Tanoh Time” will eventually appear, and this freak of nature will shine, intimidate, and conquer his mismatches anywhere on the football field.
Following his 2012 redshirt season, Kpassagnon instantly provided statistically. Kpassagnon totaled 15 tackles with one of them being a sack. After staying clear of live game action in the previous year, he went into his redshirt freshman season ready to make a difference for his college of choice in the Villanova Wildcats. Adding another positive to his first season as a collegiate performer is Kpassagnon earning a spot on the CAA All-Academic Team.
Behind the pads is a young megamind. Being the son of a chemical scientist, and an economist, Kpassagnon was given the lifestyle of academics over athletics. Luckily for him, if the unthinkable happens, and the NFL doesn’t work out, he does have a great back up plan with his double degree in accounting.
In 2014, Kpassagnon’s numbers declined just a little, yet his sack numbers did rise from the previous season. He totaled 3.5 sacks, with 24 yards lost by the offense from the result of those sacks. Kpassagnon was three total tackles behind his previous season, yet he was still able to hold a positive defensive presence. With his genetics, the Wildcats were fortunate to possess such a gift on the defensive side of the football.
During his redshirt junior year, Kpassagnon made a dramatic jump from a contribution standpoint. He tallied 33 tackles and a team high 6.5 sacks, with 44 yards lost in those sacks alone. After a few experimental seasons, he began to shine from within, as the young and raw phenom began to emerge as an unstoppable edge rusher.
The results from his talents in 2015 were very well deserved. Kpassagnon received a First Team All-CAA football selection. His incline in numbers were hard to miss – similar to his body size on a football field.
In his final season as a Wildcat, Kpassagnon once again created a surge in his numbers. He managed a career high 45 tackles, an increase in 12 from his junior season. That continued success left NFL scouts in awe, as they witnessed his ceiling getting higher each year. His increase in stats only means he is not growing as a player, and there is a lot yet to be unlocked for Kpassagnon.
Why Did Kansas City Draft Kpassagnon?
The Kansas City Chiefs knew defensive line was a need going into the 2017 NFL draft. Losing Dontari Poe was a huge blow for the Chiefs beefy front squad on defense. There were plenty of players the Chiefs could have drafted instead of the project in Kpassagnon, but with the ceiling he possesses, it is obvious why the Chiefs went with him.
His unusual frame creates mismatches beyond the norm. Once he is able to use his body correctly, he will be able to have advantages anywhere on the line. Which brings up another reason why the Chiefs went with him – versatility within the defensive lineman position. Kpassagnon will be able to play off the ball quicker than nearly everyone on the line to wreak havoc in the backfield. Wherever there is a hole in the line, expect him to eventually fill that role with ease.
The word “man” is an understatement when describing Kpassagnon. His frame and build are one for the ages. Standing 6’7″ and weighing 290 pounds, Kpassagnon was easily the most genetically inclined prospect in the entire 2017 NFL draft class.
On top of his height and weight advantages, is his wingspan. The arm length on this beast is 35 5/8″. As an offensive lineman, imagine trying to stop the full force of this stud coming your way, all the while trying to avoid a swim move by Kpassagnon over the top of you. Stopping him once he figures out how to use his body completely as a threat will be near impossible.
What to Expect When “Tanoh Time” Takes Full Force
Once Kpassagnon is unleashed from the sidelines, this will signify that the project is near complete. The coaching staff will more than likely play wise with Tanoh. Sometimes the key to success and perfection simply relies on patience. He may not be game ready this season, as his ceiling continues to grow day in, and day out, but once it is “Tanoh Time”, good luck to his match-up, the towering defensive end more than likely already has him beat.
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