19 Days to the Draft: Illinois OG, Jon Asamoah

With the Draft fast approaching, it's time to start looking at some potential players for the Patriots. I'm going to put profiles of 2 players a day- one offense, one defensive- and gain a better understanding of the players in the draft.

We have two solid guards in Logan Mankins and Stephen Neal, as well as great depth in Dan Connolly, Rich Ohrnberger and potentially George Bussey. With so much investment in the interior line position, it may seem foolish to grab early talent at guard. Illinois OG Jon Asamoah could be worth the pick. A three year starter, Asamoah has the experience to find a niche in the NFL. His 6-4, 305 lbs frame is large enough, but his 33 inch arm span makes him a potential bust. Can he play for the Patriots?

His measurements and some quotes after the jump.

WalterFootball.com Scouting

Height: 6-4. Weight: 305.
Projected 40 Time: 5.12.
Combine 40 Time: .
Benchx225: . Arm: 33

CBSSports.com Scouting

03/28/2010 - TOP RATED NFL DRAFT SCOUT OFFENSIVE GUARDS: Jon Asamoah, Illinois, 6-4, 305, 2: A three-year starter at right guard, Asamoah has the size, strength and mobility to project as a versatile guard who can play either side and pull when needed. According to the Illini's coaching stats, as a starter he had 267 knockdowns, otherwise known as pancakes. In the last two seasons, he allowed four sacks and four pressures. Coaches and teammates love him for his nastiness on the field and his upbeat personality in the locker room. He wasn't bad in class either, earning Academic All-America honors. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange, NFLDraftScout.com/CBS Sports/USA TODAY

NFL.com Scouting

Asamoah is a three year starter for the Illini and has the foot agility, body control, and intelligence to play on either side of the center. He is exceptionally quick into his blocks and has the ability to make reach blocks on opponents playing on his edge. He is a good knee bender but will allow his pads to get a bit high at times and will overextend at times causing him to struggle when having to recover and right himself against good counter moves. He is more finesse than powerful or explosive but does show good lower body strength to hunker down and stop the bull rush.

Strengths

Asamoah has enough size for a guard at the next level. Possesses great quickness and agility and can pull and get out in front. Has long arms. Is a smart player who understands his team’s protection schemes. Is a tough guy with an impressive work ethic. Gets the most from his ability.
Weaknesses
Could afford to put on more bulk. Will play tall at times and needs to watch his pad level. Lacks heavy punch in pass protection to really jolt defenders. Does not react and recover as well as we’d like to see in pass protection.

Verdict: If we didn't have any needs, Asamoah would be an excellent 2nd round pick. However, since he's rated as the 2nd best guard in the draft, he will most likely be gone by the team we should even think about selecting an interior lineman. Sorry Asamoah, we would love to have you, but we have other needs we need to address.

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