Ten Kansas City Chiefs players who need to step up in 2020

Tanoh Kpassagnon of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Tanoh Kpassagnon of the Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
9 of 12
Tanoh Kpassagnon
Tanoh Kpassagnon (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) /

4. Tanoh Kpassagnon

It’s easy to say that Tanoh Kpassagnon has done more to validate his draft position than Breeland Speaks has, but if you really look at what he’s done, I’m not sure he deserves a lot more credit. Yes, Kpassagnon was a contributor last season to a Super Bowl winning team while Speaks was out injured, but the fact that the former second round pick set career highs with just 29 tackles and 4 sacks doesn’t speak to a very productive use of second round pick.

Pro Football Focus really wasn’t impressed with his season last year either, giving him just a 50.2 overall grade, with a 49.6 grade on run defense and an equally bad 49.7 grade for pass rushing. Kpassagnon now finds himself in the final year of his rookie deal, fighting for playing time with Clark, Okafor, Charlton, Speaks, and Danna. If Kpassagnon wants the Chiefs to offer him a second contract and have a future with the team that spent a high draft pick on him, he is going to have to go out and prove he is the clear best option opposite Clark.

Anything less than clearly earning a starting spot over the competition will likely mean Kpassagnon is playing elsewhere in 2021. Simply being a rotational player who adds a few sacks won’t validate his draft position and certainly won’t earn him another contract on a team with multiple options in their front seven and limited salary cap space to work with going forward. Kpassagnon being in his contact year is what put him one spot above Speaks on this list.

Next up, the final edge player that needs to prove his worth this season.