Asamoah goes to Chiefs in third round
Illinois senior guard Jon Asamoah doesn't remember breathing throughout the second round of the NFL draft on Friday.
Asamoah and many others, including ESPN's draft analysts, had expected him to be selected in the second round. When Asamoah saw two other guards go ahead of him, and the second round close without him being picked, he was shocked.
Finally with two minutes remaining on the Kansas City Chiefs' clock in the third round, Asamoah received the call he had been waiting for all his life. He had been chosen by the Chiefs as the 68th overall pick.
"I finally breathed again," said Asamoah, who is a product of Rich East High School in Park Forest, Ill. "I was just waiting for that phone to ring. When I saw my good friend's name -- Vladimir Ducasse [50th overall pick] -- 'My time is going to be coming, my time is going to be coming.' I was just relieved when my phone finally rang.
"I don't know if it's sunk in yet. I'm just happy. I'm ready to get out there and get to work."
Asamoah, a 6-foot-4, 308-pound guard, was a second-team All-Big Ten selection as a senior. He allowed four sacks and four quarterback pressures over his final two seasons.
ESPN Scouts Inc. had considered Asamoah the second best guard in the draft. He ended up being the fourth selected.
NFL draft analyst Steve Muench was among those who had thought Asamoah would go earlier.
"Asamoah isn't quite as powerful as Idaho's Mike Iupati [17th overall pick] but he's not far behind," Muench said on Thursday. "He's a tough drive blocker who sustains and looks to put defenders on their backs. He also gets set quickly and can redirect in pass protection. We expect him to come off the board in the second and compete for a starting job early in his career."
Asamoah had texted Illinois teammate Arrelious Benn when he was selected in the second round Friday, and Benn returned the favor when Asamoah was chosen.
Scott Powers covers high school and college sports for ESPNChicago.com and can be reached at email@example.com.