Cam Jordan, Marcus Davenport, Carl Granderson, Christian Ringo, Noah Spence, first-round draft pick Payton Turner, and Tanoh Kpassagnon will bring out their competitive juices during New Orleans' workout programs ahead of the 2021 regular season.
Possibly two or three players may miss the cut with the Saints.
Tanoh Kpassagnon is an interesting character that many have not explored this offseason.
So, does Tanoh have a chance? Yes.
Who is Tanoh Kpassagnon?
Pronounced Tawn-oh pass-N-yo, according to the New Orleans Saints website.
Kpassagnon, 26, is a 6-7, 289 pound defensive end with four years of veteran experience. The Kansas City Chiefs selected him in the second round (59th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft out of Villanova.
He won a Super Bowl championship with the Chiefs and played in their second quest for a Lombardi in their Super Bowl LV defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tanoh recorded 20 tackles and 1 sack during his 2020 campaign.
Throughout his 61 career games (24 starts) in Kansas City, Kpassagnon totaled 75 tackles (52 solo), 7.0 sacks, 73 total QB pressures, 5 passes defensed, 12 tackles for loss, one forced fumble.
Tanoh started six times and notched ten tackles, three sacks, and two passes defended in eight postseason contests.
Kpassagnon decided to join the New Orleans Saints for several reasons, the mutual interest and how the New Orleans defensive line played in their Week 15 loss against the Chiefs at home.
"I'd say it was definitely mutual interest. Right after the season, I knew it was about that time, [Kansas City] contract was up, and the Saints were just super high on my radar, and then finding out that the coaching staff and everybody here wanted me too was just awesome. Perfect fit," said Kpassagnon.
The coaching staff is more than head coach Sean Payton and defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, but what intrigued Kpassagnon was working with Ryan Nielsen.
Tanoh Kpassagnon explained in his conference call with Saints media his thoughts on Coach Nielsen. "Yeah, I mean, you see it with guys like Trey Hendrickson per se. A lot of people didn't really know who he was, but going through this system and being with Coach Nielsen, definitely you see that rise, that shot this past year. Coach Nielsen, just coming out of college, I remember him working me out and how he actually coached, and I love the passion, and you know he's going to get the most out of you."
Kpassagnon's Scouting Report
- John Dorsey loved his pass-rushing potential and believed Kpassagnon was a developmental prospect entering the Kansas City system in 2017.
- Tanoh Kpassagnon is turning heads early on in training camp with the Kansas City Chiefs, wondering what the scouts said early on. Source: arrowheadaddict.com
- Tanoh Kpassagnon was the 59th overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft out of Villanova and measures 6-7, 289 pounds with 35 5/8” arms. He ran a 4.83 forty time at the NFL Combine in 2017. Source: (stampedeblue.com)
- During 2020, PFF graded Kpassagnon at 55.4 overall with 720 total defensive snaps (rush-276, pass-428) Source: (pff.com)
How Will Kpassagnon Fit In New Orleans?
New Orleans needs pass rushers to affect quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers, Ryan Tannehill, Josh Allen, and Dak Prescott - they will see them in 2021.
Kpassagnon, in 720 defensive plays, pressured the quarterback 73 times with 7 sacks, 10 hits, and 56 hurries.
Trey Hendrickson's four seasons included 1,379 snaps, 106 QB pressures, 22 sacks (13.5 in 2020), 22 hits, and 62 hurries.
In three seasons and 1,323 defensive snaps, Marcus Davenport posted 113 quarterback pressures, 13 sacks, 24 hits, and 76 hurries.
In comparison, Kpassagnon has more development to be done under Nielsen's tutelage.
New Orleans has seven players competing for a roster spot at defensive end.
Tanoh does have versatility and is capable of playing a defensive interior position.
Versatility for the Saints only bolsters his cause.
The OTAs, minicamps, and training camp will be highly competitive at many positions, but don't sleep on Tanoh Kpassagnon and what he could bring to the New Orleans front seven in 2021.
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