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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: IDL Khyiris Tonga

  • The Draft Network
  • January 14, 2021
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Khyiris Tonga aligned as an interior defensive lineman for the BYU defense—they will align sometimes in an odd front, where Tonga will align as the 0-tech. He excels as a run defender. When he plays with good pad level, he is extremely difficult to single block. He needs to become more consistent at disengaging quickly, but he does show the ability to get to the football. He is a player that would be described as “stronger than he is explosive” based on his movement skills. He uses a good bull rush to get home and uses his length to knock down passes when he cannot. 

Ideal Role: Backup IDL.

Scheme Fit: 4-3 NT/DT.


Written by Drae Harris

Games watched: USC (2019), 2019 Utah St (2019), Boise State (2019), Hawaii (2019)

Best Game Studied: USC (2019)

Worst Game Studied: Hawaii (2019)

First-Step Explosion: Overall, his first step is average. He doesn’t have a lot of twitchy or explosive movements off the snap. He also has instances of being late off the ball, as well. 

Flexibility: He has poor flexibility overall. He is much more effective when he consistently plays with good pad level. He doesn’t play with good leverage and it limits his effectiveness.

Hand Counters: His hand counters are average overall. He doesn't use his hands as well as he should. If he learns to be more effective and decisive with his hands he will be a force on passing downs, as well. 

Hand Power: He does have good power in his hands. When they are placed inside and he is bull rushing, he can overpower single blocks. He needs to become more consistent at disengaging and getting off blocks.  

Run Defending: He excels as a run defender. When he plays with good pad level, he can control the center and get to the football. He is very hard to run at due to his outstanding ability at the point of attack. 

Effort: He appears to pick his spots over the course of the game. This may be due to a lack of good shape. However, his lack of emotional endurance affects his effort late in games. 

Football IQ: He plays with average football intelligence. This is mainly with regards to quickly deciphering blocks. However, when he has located the football, he can go with urgency. 

Lateral Mobility: His lateral mobility overall is average. However, this should not hinder him in the NFL. His ability to play from A-gap to A-gap is where his true value is against the run. 

Functional Strength: He has good functional strength. He easily controls the center and has instances of getting off blocks and to the ball. However, the consistency needs to improve. His functional strength is overpowering at moments in the game. 

Versatility: He lacks true positional versatility. He aligns as an interior defensive lineman and that’s where his skill set is best suited. 


TDN Consensus: To Be Determined

Drae Harris: 72/100

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