Jon Asamoah, 2010 NFL Draft
6’ 5” 315 lbs.
Strengths: Size, strength, awareness, and intelligence.
Weaknesses: Footwork and technique.
By Scot Acocks
Jon Asamoah has been a leader on the Illinois offense for the last three years, starting 37 consecutive games at guard. During that span Illinois has been one of the best offensive units in the Big-Ten.
In high school Asamoah was Chicago Sun-Times All-State selection, a two time All-Area selection, and a two time Academic All-State performer. He also played basketball.
Asamoah saw little action as a freshman, appearing in five games, but started 13 games as a sophomore in 2007. That year he helped Rashard Mendenhall become the Big-Ten Offensive Player of the Year, paving the way for the nation’s eight leading rusher and a future first round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Asamoah recorded 80 knockdown blocks that year as well. The Fighting Illini beat #1 ranked Ohio State in Columbus and represented the Big-Ten in the Rose Bowl.
In 2008 Illinois racked up 448.3 yards per game and 30.4 points per game, leading the Big-Ten in offense through the first 11 games of the season.
In 2009 Asamoah was named second team All Big-Ten by the coaches and media. Illinois’ rushing offense ranked 18th in the nation and second in the Big-Ten. He was also named to the National Football Foundation's 16-man Scholar-Athlete team.
Asamoah is a mauler who can knock defenders out of running lanes on regular basis and move piles for the tough, short yardage gains. He is big and relatively athletic for a man his size. He is also a decent pass protector who did not give up a lot of sacks in College. As a result Illinois has been one of the top passing teams in the Big-Ten since he became a starter.
Overall footwork and technique may be a slight issue for this big man. He looks a little stiff at times and doesn’t necessarily always hit his mark. He is very coachable though and should be able to take to instruction at the next level.
One of Jon Asamoah’s biggest assets is his heart. It’s something you cannot measure but it is evident in the way plays the game as well as how he behaves off it. While in high school he took a lot initiative to help his community and was a Wendy's High School Heisman Nominee for outstanding achievement in athletics, academics and the community, and also earned the Cook County Circuit Court - Black History Award for academics and community service. He majored in Community Health at Illinois and made the All-Academic Big-Ten team.
He looks like a late first/early second round prospect for the NFL Draft and should be a productive starter in the NFL for years to come.