According to the IndyStar’s Jim Ayello, Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Tanoh Kpassagnon is a name to watch for the Indianapolis Colts as a potential free agent target:
A name I was told to keep an eye on as a potential Colts target in FA: Chiefs DE Tanoh Kpassagnon.— Jim Ayello (@jimayello) March 15, 2021
-- Former 2nd round pick (2017).
-- Played 32 games past two years (23 starts) w/ 5 sacks, 8 TFLs.
-- Nice playoff run in '19, including 2 sacks in AFC title game.
-- 27 this year.
The former 59th overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft out of Villanova measures in at 6’7”, 289 pounds with 35 5/8” arms. He ran a 4.83 forty time at the NFL Combine in 2017.
Athletically, Kpassagnon checks a lot of boxes for the Colts as a defensive lineman:
Colts general manager Chris Ballard presumably played a role in scouting Kpassagnon with Kansas City (or at least was very familiar with him) before becoming Indianapolis’ new head football man in 2017.
During four seasons with the Chiefs, Kpassagnon had 75 tackles (52 solo), 12 tackles for loss, 7.0 sacks, 73 total QB pressures, 5 passes defensed, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery in 61 career games (24 starts).
Per PFF (subscription), Kpassagnon received a +55.4 overall grade this past season during 720 total defensive snaps.
Here’s a few snippits of Kpassagnon’s production:
Tanoh Kpassagnon lining up as a NT and generating a ton of push... the Vikings didn't have a lot of answers for his strength throughout the game. pic.twitter.com/Pa4b8YtgFU— Seth Keysor (@RealMNchiefsfan) November 6, 2019
Look at Tanoh Kpassagnon destroying the interior of the OL. He's been playing all over the line as of late and made a noticeable impact https://t.co/RfKlGnwA7G— Matt Verderame (@MattVerderame) November 4, 2019
Tanoh Kpassagnon's improvement has been remarkable. Here is video evidence of him shaking off parts of three blocks to help stuff a run between the tackles. pic.twitter.com/JDaKX3GErB— Sam Mellinger (@mellinger) November 21, 2019
Only 26 years old, Kpassagnon could be an under-the-radar defensive line signing for the Colts—as he continues to improve and grow in the trenches:
I can't stress enough just how far Tanoh Kpassagnon has come from the start of training camp to now.— Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) January 19, 2020
While not a star, Kpassagnon seems like a rotational defensive lineman who could potentially play a role similar to departed veteran Margus Hunt from two years ago—as a bigger defensive end on running downs who can kick in at nose tackle on obvious passing situations.
With starting free agent defensive end Denico Autry looking increasingly unlikely to re-sign, and fellow free agent edges Justin Houston and Al-Quadin Muhammad’s statuses uncertain, the Colts could use some additional reinforcements along the defensive line.
Kpassagnon hasn’t played up to his draft billing, but like the Colts previously discovered with both Hunt and Autry (although the latter was initially undrafted), there could be some untapped potential still there—especially with the former Chief serving as a versatile rotational defensive lineman.