Tanoh KpassagnonDE Villanova

6-7, 289, 23 Reps, 35 5/8"Arms!

10-8 Broad! S-1.69, (U) 4.83, 

 30" Vert, 7.46 3-Cone 4.62 SS,

All Out All The Time Guy. 

By TOM

Some have been questioning his love of game. "Iíve gotten that a lot. [But] I tell them, 'yeah, I love the game a lot,'" Kpassagnon said. "This is probably the first thing I did for myself. Grades and everything else was instilled in me by my mom. And that was something I was doing to make my mom happy. But football is something Iím doing for me. I mean, to make her happy, too. But itís really for me." He clearly showed passion for the game on Tape.

He wins with his initial burst and strength, which is only half the tools in his tool box. "They're making an investment in me," Kpassagnon said at his Proday. "They have to see what theyíre getting and Iím just trying to prove that I belong. Coming from Villanova, I have to prove I can play with the big boys. I think Iíve shown that. Everything is coming at you fast. I just see this as another opportunity to do better." He was consistently doubled last season more than any other DL in this Draft. 

His biggest challenge was really at the Senior Bowl, where he not only showed his passion and desire for the game, he showed he belonged. "I showed at the Senior Bowl that I can play with those guys," Kpassagnon said. "The combine hopefully will show that Iím a pretty good athlete. To tell you the truth, the competition wasnít really that much different [in the Senior Bowl]. The guys were a little bigger, but the skill level was kind of the same as Iíve been used to." He played all out all the time there, just like he did at Villanova. 

When he extends his arms just a little he can shed the OLT instantly. "[Professional teams] are not always going to give you pats on the back," Villanova HC Mark Ferrante said. "They are going to be screaming at you, seeing how you follow directions, how quick can you pick stuff up. If they give you a command, can you carry out that command? They look at body language. Can a guy that size bend, extend, accelerate, play with leverage, get low, change direction? [Tanoh] can." He has a nice inside Rip against the OG he used to get to the QB.

He played on a lower level, where the OLs just couldn't block him. "My high school  isn't a big high school, but coach Ferrante found me," Kpassagnon said. "After he started looking at me, some other schools in the CAA and Temple and Princeton started looking at me. But once I saw Villanova, it was the perfect fit. It was closer to home, too. I didn't know that was part of my mom's motivation until after I'd signed, but that was big, too. I liked the business school and my studies gravitated towards that. That was a big motivator and I liked the coaches a lot." He was voted team captain. 

He is one of those guys who used to scare old school coaches, because he might be too smart. "Heís a bit of an anomaly," Villanova DL-coach Trainer said. "He almost has that California chill mode to him. One of the first thing I tell scouts is heís not that alpha male whoís gonna come up and go, 'hey, dawg, whatís going on, man?' He's going to wow you physically but he's not gonna come out of his skin with personality. A lot of times people initially mistake that for softness but he definitely has an understated toughness and hardness about him that has served him well." Even when being double teams by two O-linemen they couldn't stop him from moving forward towards the QB.

Great powerful hands and legs that dominate his level of Competition. "I would say my end goal when I first came here wasn't exactly to be in the NFL," Kpassagnon said. "I knew that if I worked hard at anything something good could come from it, and I would say that if you have the talent it'll show no matter where you play. I heard stories every day about guys from D2 and D3 teams buying into the system and having good things happen. Most of all, if you're looking out only for yourself, it may not happen. But if you buy in, if you're one of those guys, you'll get spotted." He played amazingly well with his hands and feet together in balance. 

He was awkward (like JPP), but he didnít fall down very often, and kept moving to the QB after it looked like he was done. "Heís a very grounded guy," Trainer said. "The greatest compliment I can give him in terms of non-measurables is heís as consistent of a player as Iíve ever been around. I mean that not in a performance standpoint but in a life standpoint. A lot of times young kids today are really high and then really low. Heís just steady as the day is long, and he takes everything in stride. His mom and dad have done a great job with him." He has to learn to extend his arms more. 

He will be a great NFL DE, if he can get stronger and learn to play with his 35" arms extended into the OLs' chest. Once he can do that the skies the limit. Right now he plays with his arms chicken winged too much, and uses his powerful legs and leverage to drive OLs back. He has to use his hand better to shed, and to get his elite arms extended. That skill is the final piece for this kid.

His primary move is to get low and grab the OL, then power him up, and shed with some quick twitch. "I feel like I've gotten better the more I've played football over the years," Kpassagnon said. "Once I reach the NFL, I'll be able to learn so much more and can learn from guys who have been doing this their whole life and know different techniques. Once I'm in, I expect to do really good things." He plays with amazing strength and determination.

He does get fooled by trickeration, and still looks like he is thinking too much. When he can just use his instincts to react he will improve by leaps and bounds. Nice sprinter from the 9-tech to run through the OLT and hit the QB. He has some nice herky-jerkiness in his shoulder to try and shake the OLT in the rush. Draws a lot of holds. 

He can get pushed off the point on the play action by the double, but can then recover and Rip inside up the middle at the QB. I like to see him use his freakishly long arms to leap up at the QB when he throws. He can absorb the double in the three man rush, then shed the OLT and take his outside shoulder. 

I am very impressed with his hands. Knows how to use his hands and hip torque to shed a blocker. He has some nice violence in his hands. He can stack and shed with his hands. He drew a holding call, when a frustrated OLT tackled him from behind. 

He is absolute huge up close. "We all fly to the ball, and [Villanova DC] coach Crocker tells us he wants all of us in the video frame when he checks the film afterwards," Kpassagnon said. "Our motto is just do your job. Doing 1/11th is all you need to do and that's worked out for us. I guess we do recruit some pretty bright guys. It helps to have smart guys. We have dawgs on this team, guys who are not afraid to get down and dirty, you know?" He made OLs look small and weak in the Colonial conference. 

He has some amazing quick twitch for a guy his size. "The first thing that jumps out is that he is 6-foot-7, 280 pounds and cut out of a rock," Philly player personnel VP Douglas said. "He's about as body beautiful as it gets. I had a chance to see Tanoh play live and he did what you want from a small school player. He had two sacks in the 1st half. Heís a guy with a high level of talent." Might be too tall to play inside. 

Might have to add some more weight and play 5-Tech. Though he does have the speed and quicks to rush the passer as a 4-3 D-end. Sometimes seems to naturally fill the gap when they don't block him and square up the QB. When he grabs hold of the blocker, and tries to read, he will get stuck sometimes. He can push the double team inside, and work down the line. 

Kpassagnon is a pure freak who reminds me of JPP. "He's raw but he's got a chance," an anonymous NFC scout said. "He's quiet and I don't think football is going to define him, Do you know what I mean? I just want to make sure that he loves football." The Tape is raw on him, but he showed he was explosive at the Senior Bowl.

I'm not the only one comparing him to JPP, who play at South Florida. "I could see it, sure," Kpassagnon said about the JPP comparison. "He's an awesome player and hopefully I can do some of the things he has been able to do. But I'm just trying to make a name for myself." Both have freakish length and athleticism.

Incredibly he still has a lot of growing to do. "I have a way better feel for the game," Kpassagnon said. "I think Iíve got better at it, like when guards are pulling, thatís the way the ball is definitely going." Some think he can still put on 20-pounds of muscle, and not have it affected his speed and athleticism. That is just scary.

His floor could be Arizona at pick 13. "Thereís no hit or miss," Ambrose said. "At this level, yeah, heís one of the best Iíve seen." He is looking like the top DE for hybrid defenses. After the Combine he will not be getting past Philly at 15. 

Additional Notes:

Senior Bowl, (where he played against top college competition): I like his hands. He has a knack for grabbing and shoving off OLs' hands. He will lined up as a Wide-9, and doesn't look out of place. He will lined up at the Wide-11, and get some pressure. Nice job bursting up field to flush the QB, and when he runs under him he can spin back inside and get his hands on him. 

The Caroline GM Gettleman said he was a top three player at the Senior Bowl, and he holds the eighth pick. "He's really twitchy for a long, rangy guy," Bucky Brooks said. "Normally you expect those guys to kind of lumber and labor off the ball, and he doesn't. He has some quickness. He has some special ability. He has some special qualities, and he's one of the guys that has been the buzz of the town." He could be a top ten pick when all is said and done.

Likes to get his hands inside, and try to extend his long spider arms. He can put speed to power, but will over rush sometimes and run himself behind the QB. I'd like to see a little  more bend. Terrific initial burst off the snap when he guesses right. He has some interesting quicks, burst , and suddenness for a 6-7 290-pound guy. You certainly do not see that every day. 

He is so long and tall that he often looks gawky, but don't mistake that with a lack of athleticism. He is an elite athlete. He has such elite length and looks skinny. So he doesn't always look as strong as he is. But he is surpassingly strong. Especially in the lower body when he gets real low, and was knocking OLs backwards all week at the Senior Bowl.

He gets off balance and gawky, but it is very difficult for blockers to put him on the ground. "He's big, and he's athletic, and what he's shown down here is he can get to the quarterback," Brooks said. "He's light on his feet, he uses his length, he creates problems for edge blockers with his long arms. He's shown ability to make an inside move. I believe he's helped himself this week, and there a lot of people are walking away intrigued by what he can bring to the table." He lines up very low in his stance, but he gets taller and taller the longer he rushes. He does a nice job attacking the OLT's hands and arms first in the rush.

He garnered 11.5 Sacks last season. "The big question was whether I could hang with the better competition," Kpassagnon said at the Senior Bowl. "I think it helped me out. I showed I could," He definitely showed that he could at the Senior bowl

He got a little out of control sometimes at the Senior Bowl, but was so twitchy that it was hard not be impressed. He can burst through the ORT's inside shoulder on the goal line. He got a sack from the blindside rushing on the OLT. Nice suddenness right off the snap. He can dig under the OLT with some speed, flatten, and turn into the QB. He looked tall and thin to me. So I expected him to get pushed around a little at the Senior Bowl, but he is much stronger than he looks. Freakish size and strength, like Shawn Oakman without the crazy.

Combine: I told you all that the Combine would propel him into the 1st. He plays so well at arms length. As his long arms get stronger he is going to be an elite 5-tech. He looked a little stiff moving in space. He didn't slow at all as he turned in club swim. The club swim should be his signature move. He is fast around the corner. He showed some heavy hands in the stack and shed drill. Better reaction in 2nd attempt in COD space drill, but he hit a coach. He caught the ball very well in coverage drill.

Kpassagnon Vs S. Dakota:

One of Tobah's problems is that too many people see him as an inside or 5-Tech guy in an odd front. But he is a D-end. Even here in the odd front, lined up really as a 4-Tech. He rushed the OLG like he was an OLT (:01). Great blast off shooting the Gap. He got a little high, but he stuck his elbow into the OLG and he was helpless. He turned the short corner effortlessly and got his giant arm and hand up in the passing lane to make the pass more difficult, and slammed the QB to the ground. It is not going to be that easy in the NFL, but he made similar rushes at the Senior Bowl.

He is so long and tall that he was able to put the OL on his inside shoulder and kept powering to the QB. He will have to learn some better technique to do that in the NFL (1:17). They played him a lot in odd fronts (1:27). This is a great example of him looking awkward and weak, but wasn't. Watch the bull rush as he pushed the two OLs back. He really should have his arms extended. What is most exciting about Tanoh is that he hasn't learned to extend his arms yet. Once he learns to extend his arms he should be able to do this against NFL guys. He likes to get his elbows into OLs' chest and use his powerful legs to push them back. Here he is remarkably bulling two OLs straight back. Then watch what looks like the OLT throwing him. But if you look carefully it is Tanoh violently and awkwardly shedding of the double with a slap and club, and dipping around the OLT's outside shoulder. 

On the strong side. He used his burst to get the ORT moving backward. Then he got his hands into his shirt, and chicken winged. He doesn't extend his arms, but he consistently won the hand fights inside. Then he panicked the QB (1:37). He took off, and you can see him try to extend his long inside arm into the OLT (1:17). Great inside burst. He can win with that burst in the NFL (1:56). He is an all out all the time guy, who pursued the RB on the run away.

He pushed the double back a little with chicken wings. He has to learn to extend those chicken wings (2:11). Here he is out at 9-tech. This is were he can do some damage right away in the NFL. Watch the elite blast off. He beat the OLT to the outside in less than a second. The OLT desperately grabbed shirt (2:19). Watch the nice violent inside elbow that knocked the OLT's inside arm away. Then he squared up on the QB, in less than two seconds. The OLG had to bail and crashed into him to save his QB, but he caused the QB to panic and drop the ball.

The problem is that he played at such a lower level of competition that it is hard to tell what translates. But he was doing similar things at the Senior Bowl against top college competition (2:42). You get a great glimpse there of how he used his elbow instead of his long arms and hands. Once he learns to use his arms and hands the skies the limit for this kid.

He tried to fight off two OLs, but his arms never extended so they could grab him (2:48). They keep putting him inside too much at 5-Tech. Watch this. He blasted off and extended his arms into the OLT for split second, and shed him. Then watch the nice rip through the OLG to the QB (2:54). This is were I like him, out at 9-Tech in space (3:03). Watch the great burst up field that got the OLT out of balance. Then when he actually extended his damn arms, he instantly shoved him off with an NFL inside move and hit the QB. That play right there showed his NFL potential more than any other move.

When he stayed and played low they could not stop him. Watch this great low rip through the double team (3:12). He won with his initial burst and rip, and not his length (3:20). He is so powerful when he stays and plays low. Watch how this Rip almost lifts the OLT off his feet (3:03). Back at 4-Tech. Where he can only bull the OLG back in the stunt (3:37). I like him more lined up outside the tackles. 

Here is lined up outside the OLT. Watch the great agility as he moved through the OLT and OLG with his hands and feet in balance. He was fooled, but he really showed what a rare athlete he is there. The OLT let him go, but the OLG sure as hell didn't. He spun him around with quickness and agility. Also watch the great hand usage on the OG (3:45). Here he is at 5-Tech (3:53). He met the double with this hands, and boomed his shoulders into them. He is not afraid of the rough stuff at all. But he has to play with those arms extended.

Kpassagnon Vs S.Dakota ST:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KMPnLjcMmM

Smoot Bio:

2016 Senior: Starting defensive end. 16 straight starts entering the Purdue game. Safety on a TFL in the end zone against North Carolina. Career-high eight tackles against Western Michigan and Nebraska. Bednarik Award watch list (defensive player of the year). Hendricks Award watch list (best defensive end). Lombardi Award watch list (player of the year). ESPN.com preseason All-Big Ten. Phil Steele preseason All-Big Ten second team. Athlon Sports preseason All-Big Ten second team. Lindy's preseason All-Big Ten second team. Pro Football Focus preseason All-America third team edge defender. Ranked as the 20th best player in college football by Pro Football Focus during the preseason. Ranked as the 49th best player in college football by 247Sports during the preseason. Senior Bowl preseason watch list.

2015 Junior: All-Big Ten honorable mention by the coaches and media. Started all 12 games on the defensive line. 40 tackles, 15.0 TFLs, 8.0 sacks, two PBUs, three QB hurries, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries on season. Led the team in TFLs (15.0) and sacks (8.0). Most TFLs in a single season by an Illinois since All-American Whitney Mercilus had 22.5 in 2011. Tied career high with six tackles vs. Northwestern. Forced fumbles vs. Middle Tennessee, Ohio State and Northwestern. Career-high 3.0 TFLs vs. Middle Tennessee and at Iowa. Career-high and Illinois season-best 2.0 sacks vs. Middle Tennessee.

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