Tanner Hawkinson: 5 Things You Need to Know About Kansas OT
While some of college football's best players gathered at Radio City Music Hall to be on hand Thursday when their names were called to join the ranks of the National Football League, a much larger group of players are just hoping to hear their names called at all at some point during the NFL draft.
Among those fringe prospects is Kansas offensive tackle Tanner Hawkinson, who started 48 consecutive games for the Jayhawks over four seasons.
Yet another in a growing number of tight ends that converted to offensive tackle, here's a look at a handful of things you need to know about the player his teammates call "Ricky Bobby."
Hometown: McPherson, Kansas
High School: McPherson
Major: Pre-Sport Management
Tanner Hawkinson was a 3-star tight end prospect coming out of McPherson High School, with Rivals.com ranking him 23rd at his position nationally and the third-best high school football player from Kansas in 2008.
However, there was very little doubt where Hawkinson would attend school, as Hawkinson's grandfather, mother, two brothers and sister all attended Kansas, according to the Jayhawks website.
Tanner Hawkinson may have arrived in Lawrence as a tight end, but it's at tackle where he made his name for the Jayhawks.
2009: Inserted immediately into the starting lineup at left tackle. Made 12 starts and was named a first-team freshman All-American by the Football Writers Association of America.
2010: For a second straight year, Hawkinson started all 12 games for Kansas at left tackle.
2011: Made the switch to right tackle before the season, but once again started all 12 games for the Jayhawks.
2012: Hawkinson once again started all 12 games on the right side for Kansas, giving him a team-record 48 straight starts. Named a second-team All Big-12 performer.
Weight: 298 pounds
Arm Length: 33 3/8"
Hand Size: 10"
40-Yard Dash: 5.07 seconds
Vertical Jump: 28.5"
Broad Jump: 9'4"
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.51 seconds
Three-Cone Drill: 7.52 seconds
Pro Day Results
Bench Press: 13 reps
As his combine weigh-in indicates, Tanner Hawkinson is somewhat undersized for the tackle position in the NFL, especially the right side. While there's room to add bulk to his 6'5" frame, a paltry 13 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press at Kansas' pro day raises concerns about Hawkinson's upper body strength.
Combine results courtesy of NFL.com
Pro day results courtesy of Walter Football
Here's a look at some interesting facts and tidbits about Tanner Hawkinson.
As NFL.com points out, the "Ricky Bobby" nickname was given to Hawkinson by his Kansas teammates in reference to the Will Ferrell character in Talladega Nights.
Hawkinson's father, Griff, broke with family tradition and attended rival Kansas State.
According to the Kansas website, Hawkinson is an avid outdoorsman and piano player who hopes to work overseas in business and finance after his playing days are over.
This is what scouts and draft experts had to say about Tanner Hawkinson leading up to the NFL draft.
Believe it or not, I may actually like Hawkinson better than most seem to. While I have heard some analysts opine he should not be drafted, I think Tanner Hawkinson is worth every bit of a sixth- or seventh-round pick. He's a tackle with definite, proven ability to get to the second level that translates to a zone-blocking scheme, and he can already do a good job countering athletic inside pass rush moves.
While perhaps lacking the power scouts would prefer, Hawkinson has length, underrated athleticism, technique and, of course, durability. It's a combination that could earn him a Day Three selection and help him join relatively recent former Jayhawks Anthony Collins (fourth round, 2008), Adrian Jones (4th, 2004) and Justin Hartwig (6th, 2002) as later round picks who've out-played their draft selections to emerge as NFL starters."