Khyiris Tonga NFL Draft 2021: Scouting Report for Chicago Bears DL

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor IMay 1, 2021

BYU defensive lineman Khyiris Tonga (95) awaits to take the field before an NCAA college football game against the Navy, Monday, Sept. 7, 2020, in Annapolis, Md. (AP Photo/Tommy Gilligan)
Tommy Gilligan/Associated Press

 6'2 1/8"

WEIGHT: 325 lbs



—Rare athleticism for a defensive lineman of his size.

—Pass-rushing upside at the nose tackle position.

—Upper-body strength is clearly rare on film, beyond the 35 bench press reps at his pro day.

—Lower body drive through block attempts allows for flashes in short-yardage and goal-line situations.

—Understands how to influence passing lanes when his pass-rush move cannot get home.

—Comfortable enough as a tackler to secure a ball-carrier and drop weight.



—Conditioning is an issue on the field, in terms of how many snaps he was able to play at full speed versus the number of snaps BYU asked him to play.

—Likely could lose some weight to improve his load over the course of a 17-game season, but that would take reshaping his body at an age where most defensive tackles are thinking about their second contract.

—Plays very high for a 6'4" defensive tackle in terms of pad level.

—Second-effort pass-rushing moves need work and were supplemented with batted ball attempts.



36 TKL, 3.5 TFL, 3.5 SK, 5 PBU, 1 FF



—Will turn 25 in July. He served an LDS mission prior to playing football for BYU.

—Had back surgery in 2018.

—Was named a team captain as a senior.

—Despite not playing high school football as a senior, was able to earn Power Five scholarships to programs like Arizona State, Oregon State and Utah, where he originally committed.



There are not many defensive tackles who move like Khyiris Tonga at his size in the NFL, let alone college football. The question is: How many snaps can he play for NFL teams over the course of a season? Tonga is among a rare handful of defensive tackles who can both be a factor in the run game as a nose tackle and also provide pass-rushing juice, but he may have to come off the bench to do so. His age, conditioning questions and overall raw technique are what keeps a prospect like him out of the first round, but his flashes will be up to par with those drafted on Day 1.


GRADE: 7.74/10 (Round 2)

PRO COMPARISON: Folorunso Fatukasi


Written by B/R NFL Scout Justis Mosqueda