By LARRY VAUGHT
Connections of all kind can make a difference when it comes to the NFL draft just like it did for UK offensive lineman George Asafo-Adjei when the New York Giants picked him in the seventh round earlier this month.
Turns out that Giants offensive line coach Hal Hunter’s son works in the Kentucky football office and told his father about Asafo-Adjei’s work ethic and character.
“He talked about what a quality guy he was. He was probably the most respected guy on the offensive side of the ball. He talked about how he competed with Josh Allen on a day-to-day basis. He talked about his character, work ethic and his toughness,” Hal Hunter said about what his son told him about Asafo-Adjei.
“You watch him on tape and see that he has a lot of athleticism and power. He has a lot of toughness and plays in the best football conference in the country.”
New York general manager Dave Gettleman told media members the team had the UK lineman graded higher than a seventh-round pick but had some concerns about technical issues.
“He is a rookie and you have to tell him to do something once and he goes on and does it right the next time. He picked up the offense much quicker than I thought he was going to,” Hunter said about Asafo-Adjei. “When you compare our offense to their offense, we have a lot more volume to it with a lot of the things that we were doing.
“We need to continue to work with him technically to get him up to speed but you have to like everything about him.”
Hunter liked that Asafo-Adjei verbally committed to UK early and kept his word even when he got offers from bigger schools. The Giants liked how he stuck to his commitment.
Asafo-Adjei will get a chance to compete with third-year pro Chad Wheeler for the starting right tackle position. Pro Football Focus had Wheeler ranked as one of the worst tackles in the NFL last season.