Perhaps the best answer won’t come from the former first round pick who has shown actual burst on the field, nor from the proven veteran hungry to extend his career for one more season. Perhaps, instead, the answer will come in the form of a developmental project from Villanova.
Tanoh Kpassagnon was the Chiefs second round pick, much to the confusion or dismay of fans and NFL analysts who thought former GM John Dorsey left plenty of instant impact players on the draft board in order to reach for a project. Kpassagnon certainly looks the part, a man beast in the mold of Allen Bailey only a bit bigger and longer. (How’s that for a scary image?) But everyone knew it would be some time if Kpassagnon was going to make the leap to the NFL, if at all.
Fast forward eight games and Kpassagnon just received the most playing time of his career in an NFL game against the Denver Broncos. Kpassagnon played on 10 snaps and got a bit of limited praise from Andy Reid in the form of “nice job” and “did okay” during a media session after Reid was asked about his performance.
Kpassagnon certainly hasn’t done anything to warrant belief that he could soon stand across from Houston, except that it’s important to remember John Dorsey’s reference point when selecting him in the second round. Dorsey thought he reminded him of former former Houston Oilers pass rusher Sean Jones—the same Sean Jones who had 113 career sacks.
To put that in perspective, Tamba Hali could have a 20-sack season this year and still be several sacks behind Jones. If that’s Kpassagnon’s potential, then he has to start somewhere. Perhaps he could be the player we’ve been waiting for.