Khyiris Tonga

American football player (born 1996)

American football player
Khyiris Tonga
No. 95 – Arizona Cardinals
Position:Nose tackle
Personal information
Born: (1996-07-07) July 7, 1996 (age 27)
West Valley City, Utah, U.S.
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:338 lb (153 kg)
Career information
High school:Granger (UT)
College:BYU (2017–2020)
NFL draft:2021 / Round: 7 / Pick: 250
Career history
  • Chicago Bears (2021)
  • Atlanta Falcons (2022)*
  • Minnesota Vikings (2022–2023)
  • Arizona Cardinals (2024–present)
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status:Active
Career NFL statistics as of 2023
Total tackles:53
Sacks:0.5
Fumble recoveries:1
Pass deflections:4
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Khyiris Tonga (born July 7, 1996)[1] is an American football nose tackle for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at BYU and was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL Draft.[2]

College career

Initially committed to Utah after high school, Tonga flipped to BYU after former Oregon State defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake was named the Cougars' head coach while Tonga was serving his two-year mission.[3]

After a strong junior season where he made 45 tackles, Tonga was expected to be an NFL draft prospect, but announced he would return for his senior season.[4][5]

Professional career

Pre-draft

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 2+18 in
(1.88 m)
325 lb
(147 kg)
31 in
(0.79 m)
9+58 in
(0.24 m)
5.07 s 1.74 s 2.89 s 4.73 s 7.83 s 28.0 in
(0.71 m)
8 ft 9 in
(2.67 m)
35 reps
All values from Pro Day[6][7][8]

Tonga was praised by draft analysts for his ability to eat up space as a nose tackle, but was expected to be a day three prospect due to his age, short arms, and below-average hand size.[9][10]

Chicago Bears

Tonga was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the seventh round, 250th overall, of the 2021 NFL Draft.[11] On June 2, 2021, Tonga signed his four-year rookie contract with Chicago.[12] He was waived by the Bears on August 31, 2022.[13]

Atlanta Falcons

On September 5, 2022, Tonga was signed to the practice squad of the Atlanta Falcons.[14]

Minnesota Vikings

On October 5, 2022, Tonga was signed by the Minnesota Vikings off the Falcons practice squad.[15]

Arizona Cardinals

On March 15, 2024, Tonga signed with the Arizona Cardinals.[16]

Personal life

Before enrolling at BYU, Tonga served a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Wichita, Kansas.[17]

References

  1. ^ Walch, Tad (April 30, 2021). "NFL draft: Returned Latter-day Saint missionaries may be the oldest players taken". Deseret News. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  2. ^ Mayer, Larry (May 1, 2021). "Bears draft BYU nose tackle Tonga in seventh round". Chicago Bears. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  3. ^ Drew, Jay (September 20, 2018). "BYU snagged Khyiris Tonga from Utah, but now have to worry about losing the star defensive tackle early to the NFL". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  4. ^ Drew, Jay (September 18, 2019). "Wreaking havoc: He's only a junior, but BYU DT Khyiris Tonga still plans to enter NFL draft next April". Deseret News. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  5. ^ Harper, Mitch (January 13, 2020). "Khyiris Tonga's Parents Played Large Role In His Return To BYU For Senior Year". KSL Sports. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  6. ^ "Khyiris Tonga Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved March 21, 2022.
  7. ^ "2021 Draft Scout Khyiris Tonga, Brigham Young NFL Draft Scout College Football Profile". draftscout.com. Retrieved March 21, 2022.
  8. ^ "Khyiris Tonga 2021 NFL Draft Profile". insider.espn.com. Retrieved March 21, 2022.
  9. ^ "Bears select Khyiris Tonga with 250th pick". NBC Sports Chicago. May 1, 2021. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  10. ^ "2021 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: DL Khyiris Tonga, BYU". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  11. ^ "2021 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 26, 2023.
  12. ^ Links, Zachary (June 2, 2021). "NFL Draft Signings: 6/2/21". Pro Football Rumors. Retrieved January 26, 2023.
  13. ^ Mayer, Larry (August 31, 2022). "Roster Moves: Bears claim six players off waivers". ChicagoBears.com. Retrieved January 26, 2023.
  14. ^ Ireland, Kyle (September 5, 2022). "Former BYU Standout Added To NFL Team's Practice Squad". KSL Sports. Retrieved January 26, 2023.
  15. ^ Peters, Craig (October 5, 2022). "Vikings Sign DL Khyiris Tonga to 53 & Add S Mike Brown to Practice Squad". Vikings.com. Retrieved January 26, 2023.
  16. ^ Urban, Darren (March 15, 2024). "Cardinals Sign Another Defensive Lineman With Khyiris Tonga". AZCardinals.com.
  17. ^ Drew, Jay (November 25, 2020). "BYU football: What if we told you the No. 8 Cougars could have the same stingy defense next year, but probably won't?". Deseret News. Retrieved May 3, 2021.

External links

  • Khyiris Tonga on Twitter
  • Minnesota Vikings bio
  • BYU Cougars bio
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