There are hundreds of stories being told during the planning and anticipation of the 2017 NFL Draft. Today we will be looking at a scouting report for redshirt senior defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon, Villanova Wildcats.
This huge young man entered the NFL’s and dynasty football’s radar when he was given a Senior Bowl invitation. He finished his career in Villanova with 65 career solo tackles, 40 assists, 37.5 tackles for loss, 22 sacks, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, one pass deflection, and one interception return for 29 yards. Because I’m a high school football coach and educator by trade, let’s break down what I saw in the three games I reviewed of the senior playmaker: this year’s Senior Bowl, 2016 contests versus St. Francis and South Dakota State (sorry more film was not available due to level of opponent). Most of these game videos are available via draftbreakdown.com. These are my thoughts:
Cons: The level of competition Villanova played was not filled with NFL players, only a game against University of Pittsburgh boasted a player expected to see time in the NFL (James Conner). Can he play at a higher level? Kpassagnon tends to lose track of pigskin when spinning away from blockers. The young defender must always be in control and understand where the ball is going. He has a bad habit of getting too high out of his stance which allows blockers into his body; this will make him easier to move and create a running lane. His lower body does not seem to be as developed as his upper body which could cause him to lose his balance. Of the few games I watched, the defensive end was huffing and puffing like Clubber Lang fighting Rocky Balboa; his conditioning must improve.
Pros:The young man jets his arms away from his body at the snap of the ball, which helps him get leverage against the offensive tackle he is facing. He combines that with a quick first step to get across the line of scrimmage. Kpassagnon uses several pass rushing techniques: spins, swims, dips and a bull rush. The former Wildcat hasn’t perfected any of them, but shows the versatility to improve them. His motor is always going and is willing to run down a play 50 yards downfield. He was quite big and strong at Villanova, but much of that raw power gets negated at the next level without good technique to partner with that power.
Overall impressions: Kpassagnon is a freakishly athletic, yet raw defender who will struggle to make an impact year one. His upper body is well-developed, but his trunk doesn’t seem to have the matching power. This former Wildcat may develop into a fantasy force within a year or two, but keep in mind he will turn 23 in June. Kpassagnon is a big risk, big reward player, and I’m not sure he is worth more than a late round rookie selection.
Thanks for reading. I will continue to discuss my scouting reports with you throughout the next several months, so keep checking the site for more content. Please check out my other content as well. You can also follow me on Twitter @AndrewMiley.