These Kansas City Chiefs might not be big names, but watch out! They could be superstars in 2020 and beyond.
The criteria to be considered for this article was, first, the player had to not already be considered a star and, secondly, they had to be underrated in the eyes of most NFL fans. This eliminated guys like Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Willie Gay, for example, who have a lot of hype surrounding them even outside of Chiefs Kingdom, but there is still plenty of star potential for the Kansas City Chiefs.
So with that criterion in mind, let’s jump right in.
3. Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE
Tanoh Kpassagnon has long been a player whom Chiefs Kingdom has had high hopes for. It was also known from the jump that he would be a bit of a project though. Here we are headed into year four for Kpassagnon and he still hasn’t had his breakout, but here is why he is primed for one and is not only a breakout candidate but a player with superstar potential.
First, let’s look at how/why he is underrated. Last season was his first year playing more than 50 percent of the defensive snaps and, because of this, he is relatively unknown outside of Kansas City. Deshaun Watson even claimed he had no idea who Kpassagnon was during the Texans’ playoff loss to the Chiefs earlier this year (I’m sure he knows after that game).
There is no debating that Kpassagnon is underrated, but what gives him the star potential? Let’s just look at his rapid improvement from 2018 to 2019.
He played more than six times the snaps in 2019 than he played in 2018 and this resulted in four sacks and eleven quarterback hits for Kpassagnon. Also digging a little deeper into the regular season, he still had six-games where he played less than 50 percent of the snaps otherwise his production may have looked even better.
From the regular season to the postseason in 2019, he made another jump. He increased his defensive snap count from 62 percent to 84 percent and this resulted in two sacks and three quarterback hits in three games. This postseason success is what really displays his star potential. If he can continue to build off of his playoff success, he could be headed for a breakout season and potential stardom.
Kpassagnon appears to be in line for the starting spot opposite of Clark this season, which should give him much more of an opportunity to unleash his potential in 2020. Not to mention that this is a contract year, so he has that little extra motivation to want to be great this season.
How could you not see star potential in a man built like Kpassagnon? The 6’7″, 290-pound defensive end just looks like a monster on the field and he could be in line to turn this monstrous size into monstrous production in 2020.