LAWRENCE — Kansas senior offensive lineman Tanner Hawkinson was drafted in the fifth round of the NFL draft on Saturday afternoon by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Hawkinson, a native of McPherson, was the first Jayhawks player to be drafted since a trio of KU players were selected in the 2010 draft.
“I was expecting to have my name called sometime today, but I was surprised it came that early,” Hawkinson said. “It was a really good phone call to get. It is a big relief to get this part of the process over with and know where I will be playing. I am very excited to get to Cincinnati and get to work.”
Hawkinson earned second-team All-Big 12 honors from the conference's coaches and The Associated Press in 2012, while starting all 12 games at left tackle for the Jayhawks. He finished his KU career having started a school-record 48-consecutive starts. His 48 career starts and 48 straight starts are both team records.
Hawkinson was a third team All-Big 12 selection in 2011, and earned freshman All-America honors in 2009 after starting every game on the KU offensive line in his first season. He was chosen to play in the East-West Shrine Game following the 2012 season, where he helped lead the West Team to a 28-13 win.
Hawkinson was selected with the 23rd pick in the fifth round, making him the 156th pick overall. He is the first Jayhawk to be selected by the Bengals since 2010 when the organization tabbed wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe in the sixth round. Former KU offensive lineman Anthony Collins is currenly a member of the Bengals and was a 2008 NFL draft pick of the club.
— Mack McClure