The Chicago Bears have selected BYU defensive tackle Khyiris Tonga in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Tonga initially committed to Utah before switching to BYU.
Tonga almost made the leap to the NFL before the 2020 season, but returned for his senior season. He started 11 games, had 36 tackles, 3.5 sacks and five pass break ups.
Over the course of Tonga's BYU career, he had 130 total tackles and 8.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles.
Strengths: Big, physical space-eater who can take on double-teams in multiple fronts. He has more speed than you think and can surprise you with his pass rush ability. Overcame a tough childhood, bought into football and became a really good player at BYU. Batted down 12 passes in four years at BYU, including five in 2020.
Weaknesses: Limited to nose tackle with shorter arms. Turns 25 in July.
What it means: When Eddie Goldman opted out, it became obvious that the Bears could use a true nose tackle to back him up. Tonga might not have the upside of a long-term starter, but he should be able to give the Bears valuable reps as a rotational backup right away.
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