Johnathan Hankins has declared for the NFL draft, choosing to forego playing in his senior season at Ohio State. The decision makes sense, as he is almost guaranteed to be a first-round pick, and will most likely be a top-20 selection.
School: Ohio State
Position: Defensive Tackle
Hankins is from Michigan, and wanted to go with high school teammate William Gholston to Michigan State, but he did not receive a scholarship offer and chose Ohio State.
Hankins has struggled a bit with weight, starting college at over 350 pounds, but has since slimmed down to under 330. He'll need to maintain that body composition in the NFL.
Hankins' best attribute is his ability to read plays and clog running lanes. He can steer double teams to alter the direction of a play because of his size and strength. He gets a great initial push off the line even though he doesn't really burst out of his stance, he has heavy hands and total body strength.
Although his initial push is excellent, Hankins doesn't disengage very well. He isn't particularly quick or violent with his hands or his movement in general, and although he has nimble feet, he just doesn't attack enough. He does a great job stifling runs in his direction but isn't disruptive enough.
Hankins doesn't offer much as a pass rusher. He isn't really asked to get to the quarterback at Ohio State, and shows limited ability when he does.
His strength sometimes allows him to bull rush, and his athleticism is sufficient for pursuing the quarterback on broken plays, but there isn't much past that.
Strength vs. Quickness
Hankins is a little more strong than quick, but he has really good footwork and moves well for his size. As noted before, he is strong enough to steer double teams, but quick enough to pursue the ball on a broken play.
His combination of strength and quickness is deadly, but he just doesn't have that extra something to take him to the next level. At this point, he isn't violent enough and lacks great technique, which are the two main things holding him back from being a guaranteed top-10 pick.
Hankins is versatile for a tackle, and Ohio State lines him up all across the line. He isn't very effective as a "0-technique" lineman, where he'd be positioned directly across from the center.
He's more suited as a 1-technique or 3-technique defensive tackle, where he lines up on either the offensive guard's inside or outside shoulder. This makes him perfect as a 3-4 DE or 4-3 DT in the NFL.
Hankins suffered no significant injuries in college, appearing in every game since enrolling at Ohio State. He also has no major red-flags in terms of character.
Hankins plays hard with a good motor. Even though he isn't aggressive enough at times, it doesn't seem to be an effort-related issue as much as a playing style issue. He will always look to finish tackles and bowl over the pile.
I don't expect Hankins to blow up the combine, but he'll turn some heads with his strength and then surprise with a little quickness. I believe he'll be drafted in the 8-15 range.
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