McPherson, Kansas native and former Kansas Jayhawk Tanner Hawkinson was taken in the 5th round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Hawkinson was the 156th overall pick. The 6’6″, 300-pounder offensive lineman started his career as a tight end.
Hawkinson was one of the best players on some of the worst Kansas teams in memory. He was a group of experienced linemen that paved the way for a very good Jayhawk running game in 2012. Si.com gave this analysis of Hawkinson’s skill set:
Tanner Hawkinson first caught my eye during Shrine game practices, as he impressed with his quickness but struggled with his consistency due to poor lower body flexibility and natural strength. Often times, prospects look very different on film than they do at All Star games, but this was not the case with Hawkinson. On film he demonstrated the same quickness off the snap and ability to shuffle effectively to the edge, as well as the stiffness that causes him to bend at the waist and struggle to change directions both out in space and against counter-moves in pass pro. He is clearly a developmental prospect for the next level, but he is worth a late round selection because of his combination of size and foot quickness. If he can improve his level of strength as well as show more consistency in his ability to bend his knees and redirect, he could develop into a solid backup guard capable of starting in spots.
Hawkinson may not be a great starting tackle in the NFL but he could develop into a passable back-up at either tackle position. He is the second KU player taken by Cincinnati in the past few years. The Bengals selected Kansas tackle Anthony Collins in 2008. Let’s hope Hawkinson can have a long, successful, and healthy career in the NFL.