John Dorsey’s ill-timed decisions are currently crippling the Kansas City Chiefs defense

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 30: Running back Jamaal Charles
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 30: Running back Jamaal Charles /
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KANSAS CITY, MO – May 13: The helmet of Matt Szymanski
KANSAS CITY, MO – May 13: The helmet of Matt Szymanski /

Tanoh Kpassagnon

Next year, Tanoh Kpassagnon might be everything. The defensive end/outside linebacker out of Villanova is projected to be the next Sean Jones. Or make that Jason Pierre-Paul. Either way, if he’s putting up double digit sacks, we’ll be thrilled that John Dorsey drafted him.

From the very beginning, Kpassagnon was billed as a project. Actually, he’s a freak project. His incredible wingspan and length will make him a nightmare at the line of scrimmage and he’s an athletic marvel despite his stature coming out of college at 6’7, 289 lbs. Yet he would also need considerable time, analysts said, and the Chiefs front office and coaching staff admitted as much when they selected him. “Give us time and we will mold him into the next great pass rusher.”

While Kpassagnon will hopefully develop as planned, it creates an issue in the present. Taking Kpassagnon (or any project like him) is a luxury pick, a seed planted to reap in the far future, which means you need enough in current reserves to handle the waiting period. If the Chiefs were going to take Kpassagnon, then they also need reason to feel good about the current state of the pass rush. Timing.

This is what makes the Hali contract such a frustration. Rather than going year by year with Hali, the Chiefs lulled themselves into thinking they were set. Dee Ford, Justin Houston, Dadi Nicolas, Allen Bailey, Chris Jones, Tamba Hali. Each of those players could conceivably get after the passer several times in a season, yet each of those players had serious question marks. Some of those players have lingering health concerns. Others, like Nicolas, are developmental players themselves. Still others, like Dee Ford, have been inconsistent and/or one-dimensional.

If the Chiefs had a combination like Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa or Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox, then that’s the time to take a developmental flyer. When your current options are all question marks, then you add another sure thing. Because sure things often show themselves not to be and every question mark devolves into a worst-case scenario. Why? The NFL season is long and grueling and entropy will take over sooner than later.

After this year, Kpassagnon might earn the praises of Arrowhead, but in the year of our Lord 2017, the Chiefs were one year off. Once again.