Four Illinois Fighting Illini were drafted in the first rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft. All of them were taken ahead of anyone from Nebraska, Penn State, Ohio State or Michigan. Yes, Illinois had four while those four traditional powerhouses had a combined goose egg. Devon Still from PSU and Lavonte David from the Huskers were taken later in the second round.
Former Illinois OT Jeff Allen was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs with the 44th overall pick in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Allen was followed at No. 48 overall by defensive back Tavon Wilson by the New England Patriots. Following Whitney Mercilus and AJ Jenkins in the first round last night, this is the first time Illinois has had four players drafted in the top two rounds.
“We have great players, and look at the film, the film doesn’t lie, and obviously the teams saw that in us,” Allen said of the Illini landing four guys in the top 50. Amazingly, Illinois finished 7-6 last year. There were some Illini drafted high last year too. But again, Illinois was 7-6 in 2010.
“Without a doubt, we had the talent and unfortunately things didn’t swing our way, ” Allen said on conference call right after being picked.
“We hit a point in the season where we lost momentum…but you could see it from the start, we had talent across the board, a lot of great players
Allen joins Jon Asamoah as former Illini OL in K.C. This will no doubt give the rookie a comfort zone few draft picks have.
“That’s somebody I can look to, somebody to give me advice,” Allen said.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, MSN and Fox Sports
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