DE Tanoh Kpassagnon, Villanova

6’7” – 289 lbs. – 4.83

Team captain who has essentially two years of starting experience under his belt, having appeared in a reserve capacity as a freshman and tearing his MCL as a sophomore. Very tall five-technique defensive end who carries his weight very well on a muscular frame with little fat; boasts arms measuring over 35.5” and hands over 10.5”. Usually plays out of a four-point stance and will move back and forth between the left and right sides of the defensive line. Plays with a good level of intensity as a pass-rusher. Relies more on his speed than on his power. Faster, more explosive, and with more bend than is typical for a player of his size, with some ability to use speed and bend back to the quarterback. Good burst to close when in position to finish off an opposing quarterback. Relies on his initial move to get pressure and needs to better integrate counters into his game; flashes the ability to get depth with his speed rush and work a swim move into his game when doubling back to the passer. Gets his hands up to contest passing lanes and has the size and length to bat down balls at the line of scrimmage. As a bull-rusher, plays with some natural power but who doesn’t always get the most of it because he comes out of his stance upright at times; leverage could be a difficult problem to address given his height. When he gets low, is capable of splitting double teams and getting penetration into the backfield against the run. Has some issues with balance and with protecting his legs; a bit of a waist-bender who often stumbles or is knocked off-balance by opponents. Might need to add a little bit more bulk to hold up better against physical offensive linemen. Somewhat limited range in pursuit against the run. Small-school prospect who will need to adjust to a steeper increase in the level of competition he’s playing against than most of his peers in this year’s class; probably mitigated those concerns to some extent with a strong Combine performance, but needs to address his leverage, balance, and lower-body strength in order to make the transition successfully. Would probably play outside in either defensive front because of his size and skillset but might be best as a two-gapping five-technique end. Looks like he’s worth a mid-round pick as a developmental option.

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