I just returned last night from Indianapolis and the 2017 NFL Combine. I got an upclose look at much of the talent coming out in this year’s draft and there’s no question that some teams will definitely help themselves by adding these kids to their roster. I got the opportunity to talk one-on-one with many of the linebackers and defensive linemen, who are the top prospects in the selection process, which will take place here in Philadelphia in about 60 days.
It just so happened that the group which I was overseeing and mentoring contained one of the Philadelphia area’s young prospects, Villanova’s Tanoh Kpassagnon. This young man is physically impressive because he stands 6’7″ and weighs 289 pounds, but he can move like a guy half his size.
The Wildcat showed NFL scouts yesterday that he’s an amazing athlete. He ran a 4.83 in the 40 yard dash, broad jumped 10’8″. and had a vertical jump of 30 inches, before doing 23 reps in bench press. His biggest negative in his evaluation by NFL scouts is the fact that he played against subpar competition.
I think the sky is the limit for him because he hasn’t even gotten close to how good he could be. The team that drafts him must realize that he’s raw, but he has the potential to be a dominant NFL defensive lineman. He will need to develop four or five pass rush moves and be able to execute them flawlessly “at the drop of a hat”.
He’s a very bright young man, who has already graduated from Villanova, so he will have no problem learning a NFL defensive system. I could see him being drafted as early as the second round because of his potential. If he were playing at a big time football school, there’s no way he would make it through the first round.
I think Camden, New Jersey-native Reddick moved himself up into the first round with his performance on Sunday. With all of the emphasis on throwing the football in the NFL, defenses need linebackers who can run with speedy running backs and receivers. Reddick, who stands about 6’2″ and weighs 237 pounds showed why he’s one of those linebackers, when he lit up the NFL Combine yesterday by blazing a 4.52 in the 40-yard dash.
With that speed, he can walk out on any running back and some wide receivers, then turn and run with them when the ball is snapped. He’s an outstanding open field tackler, which pairs well with that speed.
He rushed the passer at Temple, but in the NFL, he will be playing off the ball. I could see him playing off the ball as a Will linebacker in a 4/3. At this position, he would be turned loose to run down ball carriers and chase the ball wherever it goes. If he were drafted by a 3/4 team, he would probably play one of the inside linebacker position, where he again would be allowed to chase down the football. This kid has shown he’s a playmaker, so somebody is going to put him in position to do what he likes to do.
After the speedy 40-yard dash, Riddick had a ridiculous broad jump of 11’1″. Yes, 11 feet and one inch, which was the best long jump of the day. He added a vertical jump of 36.5″. Earlier in the week, he had done 24 reps in the bench press.
Reddick was already on the watch list for many NFL teams because he had already served them notice in the Senior Bowl. The Detroit Lions are rumored to be very interested in the youngster from Temple.